October 24, 2016, Washington, D.C. – Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), along with several other Iranian American organizations, sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in support of the inclusion of a new Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region category for the purposes of recording federal data on ethnicity.
“This proposed category would be especially helpful in resolving persistent concerns in the Iranian-American community as to how to identify themselves in the Decennial Census and to most accurately assess the population size of Iranian Americans residing in the United States and to ensure full political representation for the community,” states the letter.
“Currently, Iranian Americans are not counted in federal data. Instead they must choose to identify based on OMB’s five categories for data on race and two categories of data on ethnicity. The creation of a new MENA region category will allow Iranian Americans to identify themselves along ethnic terms by specifying which subgroup or nationality they belong to. This will have a significant and enduring impact on the treatment and services available to the Iranian American community.”
Click here for more information about the MENA region category and its impact on the Iranian American community.
Click here to read the full letter to the OMB.