March 27, 2018

Trump regime to add citizenship question to Census

Huffington Post -The Commerce Department announced hat the 2020 census would ask people whether they were U.S. citizens, a controversial decision that civil rights groups say is unnecessary and could jeopardize the accuracy of the entire survey.

The decision comes after the Department of Justice requested in December that the 2020 census include the question to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

But former Justice Department officials, including Eric Holder and Vanita Gupta, the former head of the civil rights division under President Barack Obama, said such an addition was unnecessary because the Justice Department already gets data about citizenship from the census’ separate American Community Survey. The decennial census has not asked about citizenship since 1950.

In a September memo, census field researchers reported that they were seeing unusually high concerns about confidentiality from respondents, particularly those in immigrant communities. Many people were falsifying the information they provided to researchers out of concern for their own immigration status or that of someone they knew.

This is a clear attempt to politicize the process by discouraging minority communities and immigrant communities from participating in the count. Kristen Clarke, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

An inaccurate census would have drastic consequences. The survey is not only used to determine how electoral boundaries are drawn, but also to determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal grant money are allocated.

Daily Beast -  The state of California filed suit against the Trump administration, arguing the decision to add a question about respondents’ citizenship status to the 2020 Census is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. . . . “The Census numbers provide the backbone for planning how our communities can grow and thrive in the coming decade,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “What the Trump administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is an unconstitutional attempt to discourage an accurate Census count.”


Catherine Del Masso said...

The problem is:

- A unanimous Supreme Court determined in 2016 that election districts should be based on total population, not the number of eligible voters.

- Total population is determined by census.

- It is both obvious and reasonable to expect that a significant number of people without legal status will not respond to the census if they are required to specify their legal status. This is especially true now given the Trump administration's aggressive positioning against undocumented immigrants.

- If people do not respond to the census then they will not be included in the total population.

- If the total population count is incorrect then the election districts will be incorrect.

PUNCHLINE: This is election-rigging.

Citizenship information is already gathered via a separate annual survey, the ACS.

LGBT questions were removed from the survey which also smells like census data manipulation.

Anonymous said...

The constitution only requires that every person be counted. The rest of the questions are all optional. In the past 4 census, I have never given more information then how many people live at my address. If I send my form back promptly I never see anything else from the census. While one can argue that the government needs this info, we are NOT REQUIRED by the constitution to give it. That information needs to be spread to communities of immigrants who fear being counted. All they must do is tell how many people live at the address. Last census, the form I got even suggested it, by the way the color shading was printed on the form. If one is comfortable telling the government all those private details they ask for, go for it, but I would rather keep my privacy.