June 13, 2018

How the Census counts us will affect federal aid and state power

Pew Trust - As preparation for the 2020 census intensifies, states and cities are fighting over how — or whether — to accurately count the roughly 11 million immigrants living in the United States without authorization, a battle that will have a huge impact on federal aid and states’ political power for years to come.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced this year it plans to ask all households about citizenship status, a query not broached since 1950 and one that is now inflaming states’ angst over clout.

Many officials say the new census question will intimidate immigrants and stop them from answering any questions, resulting in an undercount that would make it harder for a city or state to provide services, said Greg Stanton, a Democrat who was mayor of Phoenix before resigning  to run for Congress.

A state’s number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives is based on its population — as are a variety of federal funding initiatives for cities and states alike — so a lot is at stake for governors and local officials in the way their residents are counted.

The Phoenix metro area has an estimated quarter-million residents who don’t have authorization to live in the United States, the 10th most among U.S. cities, according to 2014 estimates by the Pew Research Center

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Constitution only requires a head count, all other questions on the Census form are completely optional.