Every ten years, since 1790, the U.S. government issues out a questionnaire that is supposed to gather the basic information of each person living in the U.S. in order to have statistics about population and demographic groups. This information is gathered by the Census Bureau and is used to figure out how the economy is doing. It is also very useful when it comes down to elections. Politicians need to know which groups live where in order to know what people in those areas need, what issues are important there, and an overall understanding of each particular community. However, one new question has immigration advocates concerned.
The 2020 Census will now include this new question: “Are you a citizen of the U.S.?”
— U.S. Commerce Dept. (@CommerceGov) March 27, 2018
The U.S. Department of Commerce complied to a request by the Department of Justice as directed by Jeff Session to include this new question, which some find very controversial.
Some people, including former Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder, say this new question intimidates immigrants and non U.S. citizens from answering any of the census questions.
Constitution does not require citizenship question. This is purely political. Trump Administration is trying to rig the 2020 Census (to protect gerrymandering) by intimidating people. Don’t be fooled-some states will unfairly lose funds and representation. We will sue. https://t.co/2R3mZ0FQSp
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) March 27, 2018
The U.S. Dept. of Justice says that by adding this new question, which has not been part of the census since the 1950, will better assist in implementing the Voting Rights Act.
As Holder points out, asking people about their citizenship is not a census requirement as indicated in the constitution.
Holder announced that he is planning on suing the Donald Trump and his administration for asking people an unconstitutional law.
Holder says this addition to the census is purely political and has nothing to do with enforcing the Voting Rights Act.
“The addition of a citizenship question to the census questionnaire is a direct attack on our representative democracy. This question will lower the response rate and undermine the accuracy of the count, leading to devastating, decade-long impacts on voting rights and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding. By asking this question, states will not have accurate representation and individuals in impacted communities will lose out on state and federal funding for health care, education, and infrastructure. Contrary to the Administration’s stated rationale, asking the citizenship question on the census is not critical to enforcing the Voting Rights Act.”
The census report is not to reflect U.S. citizens and non U.S. citizens, it’s extensive data that analysis all people in the U.S.
The spirit of the census is that no one should go uncounted and no one should be invisible. By adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, this Administration is threatening its accuracy.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) March 27, 2018
An email from Trump’s re-election campaign was sent out to supporters that said adding this question was vital to know how many actual U.S. citizens were living in the country.
“The President wants the 2020 United States Census to ask people whether or not they are citizens. In another era, this would be COMMON SENSE… but 19 attorneys general said they will fight the President if he dares to ask people if they are citizens. The President wants to know if you’re on his side,” the email said.