Census To Add Question On Citizenship Status

28 March, 2018, 01:11 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Trump administration to reinstate census question about citizenship

"This is a question that's been included in every census since 1965, with the exception of 2010, when it was removed", she said.

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

Xavier Becerra, California's attorney-general, said after the announcement that he would be taking legal action against the move, which he described as illegal.

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

Cuomo raised the possibility that the census question will "undermine the accuracy and legitimacy of Census data".

California's lawsuit alleges the change violates the constitutional requirement of "actual Enumeration" of every person in every state, every 10 years. "By leading to a misrepresentation of the number of New Yorkers, this question will jeopardize critical funding for New York's health care, social services and other vital programs that benefit all New Yorkers", Cuomo said.

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Democrats fear that an undercount of immigrants and minorities could dilute their electoral weight in some areas.

California and NY vowed to sue to block the move, saying it will deter immigrants from participating. Commerce says in a press release issued Monday night that the citizenship data will help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights. But, he concluded, "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". Mr Trump's rhetoric and his efforts to end an Obama-era programme that shielded unauthorised "dreamer" immigrants from deportation have increased fears among many people living in the U.S. illegally. Census officials in 2017 were already detecting heightened concerns among some respondents.

He stressed that the question poses no additional imposition because "census responses by law may only be used anonymously and for statistical purposes". "What the Trump Administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is an unconstitutional attempt to discourage an accurate census count". Legislation that specifically addresses the citizenship question has also been introduced in the Senate.

Citizenship questions have appeared on the census in the past and are included on more frequent population surveys that are administered by the Census Bureau. 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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