USA to Add Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

27 March, 2018, 19:09 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Trump administration to reinstate census question about citizenship

Becerra and his state have been central to virtually every legal challenge of the Trump administration on issues ranging from immigration, to the environment, to health care. The administration said the data was necessary to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

"I find that the need for accurate citizenship data and the limited burden that the reinstatement of the citizenship question would impose outweigh fears about a potentially lower response rate", wrote Ross.

"A lot of census watchers, former census bureau directors, other census experts have said that they are very, very concerned that there already is a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment, that already folks are very concerned about giving personal information to the federal government, that now if there is a citizenship question added as the Commerce Department is announcing that. a lot of immigrants, not only those who are undocumented, but anyone who maybe has ties to folks who are undocumented, may not want to. participate in the census and therefore they would not be counted, and that has direct impacts on how people are represented in this country". Ross said in his memo the last time it was included was in 1950, but that other surveys by the Census Bureau do now ask the question.

"The citizenship question is the latest attempt by President Trump to stoke the fires of anti-immigrant hostility", Padilla said in a statement. "The addition of a citizenship question to the census questionnaire is a direct attack on our representative democracy".

A census is mandated under the USA constitution and takes place every 10 years, counting every resident in the country. "We will litigate to stop the Administration from moving forward with this irresponsible decision", said Holder. "My guess? We will have a less accurate census than the nation could have had". The Justice Department now uses data from that survey to enforce the Voting Rights Act, but says the data is "insufficient in scope, detail, and certainty" for use in identifying voting rights violations, Ross wrote. The Commerce Department also noted that current surveys of sample populations, such as the Current Population Survey and the ACS, continue to ask a question on citizenship.

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The census regularly asked about citizenship between 1820 and 1950, when the question was removed.

The Commerce Department said the decision came after a "thorough review" of the request from the Justice Department. The Justice Department has also sued California over its so-called sanctuary policies to protect immigrants.

In a state like Texas, asking residents whether they are U.S. citizens could "torpedo an accurate count", the Texas Tribune reported, meaning "the state might lose its projected gain of three congressional seats" in the 2020 survey. "An undercount would threaten at least one of California's seats in the House of Representatives (and, by extension, an elector in the electoral college.) It would deprive California and its cities and counties of their fair share of billions of dollars in federal funds".

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement that the state will sue the Trump administration over its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

In a statement released Monday, the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, said that including an inquiry about citizenship status would allow the department to accurately measure the portion of the population eligible to vote.

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