2020 census will ask about citizenship status

28 March, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Census Bureau Director Robert Groves announces results for the 2010 U.S. Census at the National Press Club Tuesday Dec. 21 2010 in Washington

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.

"I personally spoke with Secretary Ross about this issue, and I am very disappointed that he appears to be disregarding the views of Republican and Democratic experts - including six former census directors - and is instead rushing ahead with a politically-motivated decision that will jeopardize the full, fair, and accurate count our Constitution demands", he said in a statement Tuesday.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the question's inclusion on Monday night. "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.

Civil and immigrant rights groups are also preparing to act in response to the Trump Administration's decision, including by lobbying Congress to intervene.

Opponents of the change to the Census worry that the administration's aggressive rhetoric has already made immigrants less willing to respond to government surveys, and that adding a question which asks if they are U.S. citizens will further depress their participation.

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Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution calls for a census to be taken every decade for the objective of apportioning seats to the House of Representatives, according to the number of "free persons" residing in each state.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla trashed the move as anti-immigrant. "What the Trump Administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is an unconstitutional attempt to discourage an accurate census count".

"It is imperative that the data gathered in the census is reliable, given the wide ranging impacts it will have on United States policy", Mr Cruz said in a press release issued by the three.

Ross has said the citizenship question won't decrease the census' response rate. Asking census respondents if they are citizens would help the government gather now unavailable data on the population of people who are actually eligible to vote, the memorandum said.

Opponents of placing a question about citizenship include the state of California and many interest groups representing migrants.

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

President Donald Trump has made a hardline approach to unauthorised immigrants a signature feature of his administration, consistent with his own campaign pledges.

"Undercounting the sizeable number of Californian non-citizens and their citizen relatives will imperil the State's fair share of congressional seats and Electoral College electors and will cost the State billions in federal funding over the next decade", the attorney general's lawsuit says. The commerce department said it would use the same one that is asked on the yearly American Community Survey, a much smaller sampling exercise.

"The Census is supposed to count everyone", Healey said in a statement.

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