Published: Fri, March 30, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Asking for citizenship status politicizes the census and imperils an accurate count

Asking for citizenship status politicizes the census and imperils an accurate count

However, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, applauded the change. "If you take a look at all the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming out of the administration right now, they're {undocumented immigrants} living in complete fear right now". "Asking respondents if they are citizens will likely decrease response rates in immigrant communities, and as a result produce an inaccurate and incomplete count that will impact the distribution of federal resources, and the number of Congressional districts that each state receives".

Nevada won a fourth House seat after the 2010 census. 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.

Since 1960 the bureau has found that the foreign-born population has grown from one in 20 residents to one in eight.

The Commerce Department announced Monday it would include a question about a person's citizenship status on the 2020 Census, the first time such a question will appear on the widely distributed once-a-decade survey since the 1950s, though it has appeared on more narrowly distributed, longer surveys also run by the Census Bureau. The Ross memo argues that the value of the data collected from the new question will outweigh any harm.

Commerce says that between 1820 and 1950, nearly every decennial census asked a question on citizenship in some form.

A Reuters report on the subject observed that surveys conducted in late 2017 revealed that some immigrants were afraid to provide information to U.S. Census workers because of fears about being deported.

The citizenship question drew strong rhetorical and legal fire from Democratic leaders.

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The NAACP on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against President Trump, the Census Bureau and the secretary of commerce demanding a more accurate count of minority populations, such as those in Prince George's County, which, the lawsuit contends, suffered from one of the leading undercounts in the state of Maryland and nation during the last census.

"New York City is joining Attorney General Schneiderman's lawsuit to stop President Trump from this unprecedented move to politicize the census", Mayor de Blasio said Tuesday.

"What the Trump administration is requesting is not just alarming".

"An accurate census is a bedrock of our democracy", said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

California state Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit March 27 in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. A bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. would block the addition of a citizenship question, or any major design change, unless it has undergone a certain level of research and testing, but it faces dim prospects with no Republicans signing on. In doing so, the census has counted citizens and noncitizens since 1790.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., did not respond to Review-Journal requests for his position on the citizenship question.

Other critics said the inclusion of the question would disrupt years of planning that goes into the census. Given the openly anti-immigrant agenda advanced by the Trump administration, it is hard not to interpret this as yet another means of intimidating the immigrant community.

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