Census to include controversial question on citizenship status

Census to include controversial question on citizenship status

Census to include controversial question on citizenship status

The census, which takes place every 10 years, asked a question about citizenship until 1950.

The Census survey before 1950 asked citizenship questions consistently, the department said, adding that the recent decision was prompted by a request from the Department of Justice in December a year ago, as census block level citizenship voting age population (CVAP) data is not now available from government surveys.

And as it is, the Census Bureau itself estimated that its 2010 count undercounted the Latino population in the U.S. by 1.5 percent and the black population by 2.1 percent, numbers that experts say will be much worse with the new question.

Democrats quickly expressed their opposition, questioning the constitutionality of the citizenship question.

The decennial census helps determine political representation in Congress, federal funding of programs and other matters. Xavier Becerra and Alex Padilla also accused the Trump administration of trying to "hijack the 2020 census for political purposes".

"I find that the need for accurate citizenship data and the limited burden that the reinstatement of the citizenship question would impose outweighs fears about a potentially lower response rate", he wrote in a memo laying out his decision.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, announced the lawsuit Tuesday.


California has already said it will sue the Trump administration over the decision.

On February 12, 2018, he co-led a coalition of 19 Attorneys General in sending a letter to Secretary Ross cautioning that a citizenship question would violate the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes.

The Trump administration is the embodiment of reactionary white anxiety about the country's changing demographics, and this one simple question, "Are you a citizen?" is another swipe at the power and presence of people of color. An aide to Healey said she already meant to join a multi-state lawsuit, led by the NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman. He said the question asking residents about their citizenship status will create fear and mistrust in immigrant communities and could skew census results if some immigrants choose not to participate.

NY state's attorney general said on Tuesday he will lead a multistate lawsuit to try to stop the federal government from asking people whether they are citizens in the 2020 Census, arguing the move will discourage immigrants from participating. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, praised Ross for announcing the decision to include a citizenship question, calling it a "reasonable, common sense addition to the census".

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the new citizenship question on the 2020 census could cause an undercount in population numbers, and therefore have an effect on the funding granted to everything from schools to homeland security money for neighborhoods and natural disasters and beyond.

President Donald Trump's administration has requested that a controversial question about USA citizenship be added to the 2020 census, which has set critics abuzz with charges of illegality and undercounting.

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