Counting Americans: New Mideast box in census is sensitive

Posted at 7:34 AM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 12:15:37-04

Americans from the Middle East and North Africa may soon be counted in the U.S. census as distinct members of their country, not as "white" or "some other race." But some are wary of singling themselves out a time when President Donald Trump is seeking to ban travel to the U.S. from some majority-Muslim countries.

The Census Bureau has recommended adding a Middle East-North Africa category, saying it would produce a more accurate count. Some worry that could lead to discrimination.

Trump as a candidate linked tighter immigration with national security and spoke favorably of a Muslim registry. As president, he's twice ordered a travel ban on people coming from certain Muslim-majority nations. Federal courts have blocked both orders. The Trump administration says it plans to appeal.