Trump administration adding citizenship question to 2020 census

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Counting everyone who lives in the United States-and counting them accurately-is hard to do. As a baby sitter, the unauthorized immigrant has taken children under her care to play in the park. There can be a fine for a false answer, although this hasn't happened in several years. "I have a son".

Meantime, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who announced his department's move to change the 2020 census, appeared to skew the science behind his decision when he asserted that the impact of asking about citizenship had been "well-tested".

A spokesman for Bennet described a citizenship question as intimidation that would depress participation in the census by Colorado's immigrant communities.

Advocates said that immigrants feared they could face deportation if their information was turned over to immigration authorities. The Census serves as the primary source for demographic information and quality data about the nation's people and economy.

"[Census] data are relied on for a myriad of important government decisions, including apportionment of Congressional seats among states, enforcement of voting rights laws, and allocation of federal funds", he added.

Even Ross acknowledged in an October House hearing that adding questions to the census reduced response rates because "the more things you ask in those forms, the less likely you are to get them in".

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Some advocates accused the administration of intentionally intimidating immigrant communities, and vowed to mount a campaign to encourage people to participate, rather than shun, census takers. "With a growing Latino population in the county, this is a direct assault on those folks participating in the Census".

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.

"That would tend to undermine the idea that putting this question on is going to make much difference one way or the other".

On December 12, 2017, DOJ requested that the Census Bureau reinstate a citizenship question on the decennial census to provide census block level citizenship voting age population (CVAP) data that is not now available from government surveys. Since then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson's first Census following the American Revolution in 1790, elected leaders across the political spectrum have respected the need for reliable and accurate data regarding the people they represent. An undercount would mean less money for schools, health care, roads and other services. Those fears are more than justified with all the stories of Trump's goon squads terrifying hardworking, taxpaying immigrant and minority families.

That could result in a significant undercount of the total population in big cities and blue states, such as Chicago and IL, where most immigrants live. And when states and cities are undercounted they lose out on funding and political representation. If they choose to violate USA law yet again by refusing to participate in the census because of a perfectly legitimate question about citizenship, that's not the US government's fault. Citizenship hasn't been a question on a decennial census since 1950. However, Trump supporters have noted that less inclusive surveys, like the American Community Survey, still use citizenship questions.

They noted that the Commerce Department had failed to disclose past year its plans to include a citizenship topic in the survey as required by federal law. Furthermore, the proposed question is about citizenship, not legal status.