The Commerce Department has reinstated a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, a move some argue can be counterproductive to getting accurate counts of who lives inside United States.
The U.S. Census Bureau counts the total number of people inside country — not the total number of citizens — every 10 years. Though This particular usually doesn’t ask about a person’s citizenship status, the Justice Department asked the agency late last year to include the question.
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US Commerce Department tweet
In a statement released Monday night, the Commerce Department said the question was being added to help enforce the Voting Rights Act along with pointed out which previous Census surveys before 1950 consistently asked citizenship questions.
Critics were quick to blast the department’s justification, saying the move was designed to undercount immigrants along with minorities.
Todd Schulte tweet
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In recent weeks, congressional lawmakers, mayors along with civil rights activists have ramped up efforts to urge federal officials to reject the question along with have called on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to turn down the request.
“This particular is actually not the time to parachute in along with try to throw something in at the last minute, particularly something so incendiary which is actually likely to impact people’s willingness to participate,” said Terry Ao Minnis, director of Census along with Voting Programs at Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
Minnis along with various other opponents say adding the question is actually unnecessary along with will lead to an inaccurate count because some people may be afraid to fill out the form.
On March 15, a group of 10 U.S. senators sent a letter to John Gore, the acting assistant attorney general, asking him about his involvement in originating the request for the Census Bureau to add the citizenship question along with what role the White House along with various other entities had played.
The senators wrote: “We are deeply troubled not just by the request to add a citizenship question, nevertheless by the impact which such a question would likely have on the accuracy on the 2020 Census.”
They wrote they are concerned which such a question would likely “depress participation among immigrants along with those who live in mixed-status households.”
Late Monday, Vanita Gupta, president along with CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil along with Human Rights, issued a statement, saying: “This particular untimely, unnecessary, along with untested citizenship question will disrupt planning at a critical point, undermine years of painstaking preparation, along with increase costs significantly, putting a successful, accurate count at risk.
“The question is actually unnecessarily intrusive along with will raise concerns in all households – native- along with foreign-born, citizen along with non-citizen – about the confidentiality of information provided to the government along with how government authorities may use which information,” the statement added.
Some supporters of adding the question counter which This particular’s a modest change along with say the opposition is actually exaggerated.
“The Trump administration is actually simply trying to get accurate information on the American population,” Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, wrote in an op-ed in USA TODAY last month. “This particular’s not fresh; previous Censuses have asked This particular question. Hostility to This particular limited reform is actually overblown, though unfortunately to be expected.”
The agency has until March 31 to submit Census questions to Congress.
Contributing: Alan Gomez, Deborah Barfield Berry along with Jessica Estepa. Follow Carolyn McAtee Cerbin on Twitter: @carolyncerbin