“We fear that this designation could be hurtful,” Jammal said.
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Arab-Americans face census dilemmaWASHINGTON: Every decade when the U.S. counts its population, residents with roots in the Middle East and North Africa check boxes they may feel do not apply: "white," "black" or "other race". But for the first time in more than 45 years, U.S. authorities are considering adding a new racial category to census forms for people of Middle Eastern or North African descent, joining such categories as "African-American" or "Asian Indian". Controversy broke out in 2004 when the Census Bureau produced information on the locations of Americans who had declared their Middle Eastern heritage during the 2000 census.As such anxieties diminished over time, some community members called on the Census Bureau to consider adding the new racial category.Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian-American Council said being counted would give Americans of Middle Eastern and North African origins a greater political voice.
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