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Amata alerts U.S. Commerce Secretary to Census count issue — closed borders, undercount

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Source: Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata's Office- Washington D.C

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata has contacted U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo about an issue with the 2020 Census count and how it affects American Samoa, due to the many residents who were stranded away from their homes during the Census effort.

“I am writing to bring to your attention an issue regarding the United States 2020 Census count for American Samoa,” Amata states in her letter dated November 23. “I have been informed by our Attorney General, The Hon. Fainu'ulelei Alailima-Utu, that our local Dept. of Legal Affairs/Immigration team confirmed approximately 2,000 American Samoa residents were stranded outside of the territory in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As you know American Samoa's population was reported 49,710, representing a decrease of 10.5% from the 2010 Census population of 55,519.”

“I understand that this group of 2,000 does not fully account for this decrease in population. I also want to recognize and express appreciation for all the work the good people at the US Census Bureau have done to complete the count during this unprecedented pandemic situation,” she continued. “However, as a representative from a district heavily reliant on population-based funding programs, I want to confirm that every person was accounted for.”

“I would sincerely appreciate you working with the American Samoa Government to look into this issue, and if there is anything my office can do to assist, please do not hesitate to reach out,” she concluded, closing with contact information and Fa’afetai tele lava (Thank you very much).