十二個台美人團體聯名信要求將「台灣人」正式列入2020全美人口普查選項中 ◎FAPA 08-12-2016

八月十二日12個台美人團體一同聯署致函給人口調查局的全國建議委員會,正式要求在2020的人口普查調查表中,第六題族群問題應加入「台灣人」的選項。
台灣人公共事務會(FAPA)發起這封團體聯名信, 早在1997年,也就是2000年的人口普查前就開始推廣在人口調查表族群問題下加入「台灣人」的選項。當時的FAPA會長陳文彥在1998年曾受國會眾議院的人口委員會的聽證會邀請,以證人身份出席。但是FAPA後來被人口調查局告知,國務院已在在1997年的便籤中裁示,「在人口調查表上列出台灣人的選項,最終將引起敏感的政治問題…這與美國政府的政策及美國國家利益則是背道而馳的。」
但是在現階段,美國移民局已經為移民至美國的台灣人特別設置配額,所以台美團體則認為人口調查局也不應該有任何以國際政治考量的原因下來繼續這項政策。
在這封信中,台美人團體也表示: 「散佈在美國各地的台美人已為他們無法知道美國目前有多少台美人感到無奈與受挫。
台美人的人口數據在聯邦政府的單位裡已經有很大的差別了。根據2010年的人口普查中台美人口分為230,328。但是根據國安局在合法永久居留者的數據裡,從1950年至2010年的台美人已高達450,673。
在這封信中,這些團體提到:「我們很驚訝我們的人口調查局,個純美國內政事務竟然會向國際政治屈服。我們的人口調查局如何計算我們人民則不應該由任何國家來決定。今天的台美人都認為他們與華裔美國人是不同的族群,而當然我們也應當給予尊重人口調查局則不能再繼續的忽略此事。
FAPA會長陳正義在信中寫到: 「人口調查局目前在普查表上排除台灣人選項的政策,是一個自我設限的規定。我們需要有一個正確算出最正確台美人的數據。而不應該有外在的政
全美同鄉會會長周明宏表示: 「這是不公平的! 許多比台灣更小的族群都有自己的選項但是台美人卻沒有。我們在國際並沒有得到我們應得的承認,但在美國,一個我們稱為家的國家則更理所當然地要被承認。」
台美人組織聯名信:
台灣人公共事務會
全美台灣同鄉會
陳文成教授紀念基金會
王康陸博士紀念基金會
全美台灣人權協會
北美洲台灣人醫師協會
北美洲台灣人教授協會
北美洲台灣婦女會
台美公民協會
台美人歷史協會
世界台灣人大會
台灣獨立建國聯盟美國本部
TAIWANESE AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS
JOIN RANKS TO BE COUNTED IN THE 2020 CENSUS
On August 12, 2016, the joint Taiwanese American Organizations sent a letter to the National Advisory Committee of the Census Bureau to request the Census Bureau that a check off box for “Taiwanese” be added under the race question (question six) on the Census 2020 form.
FAPA, who initiated this joint letter, started this campaign for a separate check off box under the race question as early as 1997, i.e. prior to Census 2000. Then FAPA President Wen-yen Chen appeared as a witness at a Congressional hearing before the Subcommittee on the Census in 1998. FAPA was informed at the time by the Census Bureau that a 1997 State Department memorandum stipulated that the “listing of “Taiwanese” as a race in a Census questionnaire would inevitably raise sensitive political questions…contrary to the U.S. Government policy and U.S. national interest.”
However, since the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service already maintains a separate quota for Taiwanese coming to the United States, the Taiwanese American Organizations feel that there should be no reason for the Census Bureau to continue this policy based on international political concerns.
In the letter, the joint Taiwanese American Organizations wrote: “Taiwanese Americans all over the country have expressed their concern and frustration to us about not knowing how many Taiwanese Americans there actually are in the U.S. today.”
There are severe discrepancies between Federal Agencies when counting the Taiwanese American population. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Taiwanese Americans was 230,382. However; according to 2014 Homeland Security data on Lawful Permanent Residents, the Taiwanese American population accumulated from 1950 to 2010 was 450,673.
In this letter, the Organizations added: “We are shocked that our Census, which is a purely domestic affair, would fall victim to international politics. No foreign country should dictate how our own Census Bureau counts its citizens. Taiwanese Americans today recognize that they are a separate ethnicity from Chinese Americans and we must honor and respect that. The Census Bureau can no longer ignore this.”
FAPA President Peter Chen reacts: “The current policy of the Census Bureau to exclude a Taiwanese check off box is solely a U.S. self-imposed restriction. We want and must have accurate data on how many Taiwanese Americans there are today. There should be no outside political influence preventing the United States to count us. We want to be counted!
Taiwanese Association of America President, Ming-hung Chow states: “This is not fair! Many smaller minorities can have their own check off box while the Taiwanese don’t. We, the Taiwanese, are not receiving the recognition we deserve in the international community, we should be rightfully recognized in America, the country we call home.”
 
Ms. Ditas Katague                                                           August 12, 2016
Chair, National Advisory Committee
U.S. Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
Dear Ms. Katague:
We, the joint Taiwanese American organizations, write to you today to formally request that the National Advisory Committee recommend to the U.S. Census Bureau that a separate check-off box for “Taiwanese” be added under the race question (question six) on the Census 2020 form.
We are pleased that over the years the Census form has evolved from excluding outsiders to including multiracialism. However, we Taiwanese Americans have not been included on the Census form thus far.
Taiwanese Americans all over the country have expressed their concern and frustration to us about not knowing how many Taiwanese Americans there actually are in the U.S. today. We campaign for a separate check-off box for “Taiwanese” because Taiwanese Americans want to be counted!
We have been campaigning for this since the mid-nineties. But we have thus far not been successful.
Why not?
Because the Census Bureau was told by our State Department in a 1997 memo that: “We believe that any listing of “Taiwanese” as a race in a Census questionnaire would inevitably raise sensitive political questions because it could be misinterpreted as official U.S. recognition of Taiwanese as a racial category chat is separate from Chinese. This would be contrary to U.S. Government policy and U.S. national interests. Therefore, our position is that it would be inappropriate to list “Taiwanese” as a category of race separate from Chinese in the Census questionnaire.”
We are shocked that our Census, which is a purely domestic affair, would fall victim to international politics. No foreign country should dictate how our own Census Bureau counts its citizens. Taiwanese Americans today recognize that they are a separate ethnicity from Chinese Americans and we must honor and respect that.
According to the 2010 Census, the population of Taiwanese Americans was 230,382k. However, according to our 2014 Homeland Security data on Lawful Permanent Residents, the Taiwanese American population accumulated from 1950 to 2010 was 450,673.
Clearly, there are severe discrepancies between Federal Agencies when counting the Taiwanese American population.  The Census Bureau can no longer ignore this.
That is why we are requesting that the Census Bureau create a separate check off box for Taiwanese Americans on the 2020 Census form under the race question (question six,) so that we will finally have accurate data on how many Taiwanese Americans there are in the United States today.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
Formosan Association for Public Affairs
Taiwanese Association of America
Dr. Chen Wen-Chen Memorial Foundation
Dr. Wang Kang-Lu Memorial Foundation
Formosan Association for Human Rights
North America Taiwanese Medical Association
North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association
North America Taiwanese Women’s Association
Taiwanese American Citizens League
Taiwanese American Historical Society
World Taiwanese Congress
World United Formosans for Independence – USA

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