Census: Decision to add citizenship question draws protest

U.S. will reinstate question about citizenship in 2020 Census Commerce Dept

Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of the state of California, published the following tweet in response to the Trump administration's USA citizenship question on the 2020 census, announcing plans to sue Trump's administration over it.

In the eight-page memo released by the department, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross rejected claims that citizenship questions, which he is looking to place last, have an impact on the Census.

While the Commerce Department insisted in its announcement that the citizenship question-which was removed from the census in 1950-is meant to "help enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA)", experts quickly dismissed this justification as a "farce", given the Trump administration's systemic and ongoing attack on voting rights nationwide. Becerra said the citizenship question is unconstitutional and would violate federal statutes.

Census data is used to decide how federal funds are spent and how congressional districts are drawn, among other things.

"The Trump administration's decision to ask about citizenship on the U.S. Census is a gross political act that launches another missile at the heart of NY". The Census Bureau says that the 2010 census drew a massive response, with about 74 percent of the households mailing in forms and the remaining households counted by workers in neighborhoods. The statement did not say which states would join the lawsuit and when it would be filed.

"This is nothing but a blatant attempt by the Trump Administration to frighten minority groups away from being counted and to sabotage the 2020 Census", Galvin said in a statement. In his memorandum to the Census Bureau, Mr Ross wrote: "For the approximately 90 per cent of the population who are citizens, this question is no additional imposition".

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"The Constitution requires us to count every person living in the United States, not every citizen", Galvin said. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who serves as chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said it a statement that the decision could lead to "devastating, decade-long impacts on voting rights and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding". We have no idea how the untested insertion of a citizenship question will affect public cooperation.

Democratic lawmakers had been bracing for the decision, making a point to question Ross during congressional hearings.

The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for stricter immigration limits, said people's unwillingness to cooperate with the Census predates President Trump and so there's no way to draw a correlation between bad reception to the citizenship question and any future drop in answers.

Several Republican senators voiced support for including the question, having previously sent a letter to the Department of Commerce urging the question be reinstated.

Citizenship is already asked on the Census's American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. "Today, surveys of sample populations, such as the Current Population Survey and the ACS, continue to ask a question on citizenship".

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