Assemblymam David Chiu, D-San Francisco, is joined by members of the city's Board of Supervisors and Chinese for Affirmative Action during a City Hall rally to call on the U.S. Census Bureau to restore language access on its paper survey forms. (Photo courtesy of CAASF)

San Francisco supervisors and Assemblyman David Chiu have called on the Trump administration to restore bilingual paper forms for the 2020 census.

The census, happening sometime in early 2020, marks the first time the U.S. Census Bureau has eliminated bilingual paper forms that would have been available for Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Russian speakers.

According to the group Chinese For Affirmative Action, although the bilingual forms are available online, the new move disproportionately impacts communities who speak limited English and who have limited internet access.

“We potentially could see undercounted Asian immigrant communities, Russian California communities and others in the state of California,” Chiu, D-San Francisco, said during a recent rally outside of San Francisco City Hall. “In a city where 44 percent of San Franciscans speak a language other than English in their home, we need to do better,” he said.

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer called the move “offensive.”

“If we undercount our hard-to-count and vulnerable communities, there could be terrible consequences for our federal funding and our democratic representation,” she said.

Fewer said the decision could impact about 109,000 San Franciscans who speak Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Russian.

“Every single person should be counted,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, calling the move a “racist trick” by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Supervisor Gordon Mar said that the decision threatens to disenfranchise millions throughout the country, including residents of San Francisco, and especially impacting low-income immigrants and elderly immigrants.

“There’s no reasonable justification,” he said.

In response to the bureau’s recent decision, supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to urge the U.S. Census Bureau to provide non-English questionnaires for language groups of 100,000 or more.

“We cannot let the Trump administration intimidate our communities,” said Jonathan Stein, attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.

“They want our communities to not respond to Census 2020. They want our communities to be made invisible, to be erased from the American family. We need to stand up and say ‘We’re here. We will be counted. This is our country too,’” he said.