Thursday, 16 August, 2018

BK Lawmakers React To 2020 Census Citizenship Question

Border Patrol agents apprehend illegal immigrants near the US border with Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley Sector near McAllen Texas. – AFP Border Patrol agents apprehend illegal immigrants near the US border with Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley Sector near McAllen Texas. – AFP
Isabel Fisher | 01 April, 2018, 00:57

The bill Bennet co-sponsored says it would "prohibit the Secretary of Commerce from including any census question regarding United States citizenship or immigration status".

Trump's critics say the citizenship question would result in an undercount on the census because immigrants would avoid responding to it.

The concern from Becerra, Schneiderman and others is that people living in the USA who are either not citizens or not in the country legally will be far more reluctant to fill out the Census, thus skewing the data received and depriving certain states the congressional representation they ought to have and the government spending it needs.

"Secretary Ross found 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". Marion points to how the state is on the cusp of losing one of its two congressional districts in citing the importance of getting an accurate count of the state's population.

At the start of every decade, the bureau counts the total number of people in the United States - not the total number of citizens - to determine each state's congressional influence and other relevant matters. They argue that asking about citizenship on the census would undermine the goal of counting every person because it would discourage people from participating.

"Fouling" the Census is the way The Washington Post described the administration's plan.

At least 12 states are planning federal lawsuits to block Ross' decision to add the citizenship question in 2020, saying it will lead to fewer people being counted.


Conducted once a decade, the USA census began collecting data about same-sex couples in 1990, when the "unmarried partner" category was added to the relationship question to measure the growing trend of couples living together before tying the knot. While many Hispanic and Asian children were born in the US and are therefore citizens, they may not be included in the census if their foreign-born noncitizen parents choose not to respond.

The Trump administration has chose to reinstate a US Census question about citizenship to "help enforce" the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Re "California files suit over 2020 census" (March 28): In an ideal world, asking about citizenship on a census would be OK, but this is not an ideal world.

In its latest report, the Census Bureau also revised the 2016 estimate for Richmond upward, from 223,170 people to 225,288 people.

The U.S. decennial census is a hallowed institution that lies at the heart of our democracy. And this decision may well be why the Trump administration has made this change.

The Census Bureau delivered its planned questions for the 2020 Census - including those about citizenship - to Congress on Thursday. It is a giant civic engagement project that allows people to proclaim that they are residents of this great land and, by virtue of the Constitution, which mandates it, ensures that they will be fairly represented in Congress. People tend to have a good feeling about participating in it. An estimated 2.1 percent of the African-American and 1.5 percent of the Hispanic population were missed during the last Census. Furthermore, the proposed question is about citizenship, not legal status. That means residents who are missed or who dodge the survey - whether out of fears of deportation or distrust of the government - simply do not get counted.

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