Published: Sun, April 01, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Oregon, Washington Join Challenge To Citizenship Question On 2020 Census

Oregon, Washington Join Challenge To Citizenship Question On 2020 Census

SANDERS, on the Trump administration's decision to ask people about their citizenship in the 2020 census: "This is a question that's been included in every census since 1965 with the exception of 2010, when it was removed. Together, these problems risk a substantial undercount of persons in the 2020 Census with wide ranging implications for proportional representation in Congress, state government share of federal dollars, the accuracy of information businesses use to decide where to locate, the availability of affordable broadband service, and natural disaster funding".

"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".

Management and oversight of the United States Census Bureau falls under the Committee's jurisdiction. But a planned reduction in the number of temporary workers to be hired for the 2020 count means fewer multilingual census takers to try to track down people in immigrant communities who skip filling out the form, and fewer bodies to travel to remote rural areas. "California simply has too much to lose for us to allow the Trump administration to botch this important decennial obligation".

"Including the question is not just a bad idea-it's illegal", wrote Xavier Becerra, the state's attorney general, in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed. In a lengthy explanation, he said there was no "definitive, empirical support" for concerns that the question would cause aliens or legal immigrants to avoid filling out the census. The Commerce Department says that between 1820 and 1950, nearly every decennial census asked a question on citizenship in some form.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross chose to include the question because he said it would provide the government with important data and would allow it to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Which brings us to the 2020 census.

She added that the bureau spent years testing a question about race, so it was remarkable that the bureau would add a question about citizenship without the same level of thorough vetting.

The U.S. decennial census is a hallowed institution that lies at the heart of our democracy.

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However, it is far more likely that Trump's anti-immigrant posturing already had inflicted the necessary damage to scare some from participating in the census forms that probably will be mailed out to residents.

The U.S. Census is so foundational to this country that its mandate resides in Article 1 of the Constitution - a requirement to count the population once every 10 years.

In a letter to Ross in January, six Census Bureau directors from past Republican and Democratic administrations questioned the science behind making such a decision, stressing that the effect of adding a citizenship question in the modern era is "completely unknown" and would "increase the risks to the 2020 enumeration".

It's almost impossible to pinpoint which questions, including citizenship, cause respondents to bolt.

As a result of the 2010 Census, Washington state, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Georgia and SC gained one seat each in the House while Texas gained four seats and Florida two seats.This did not occur without effect.

Every year, the federal government invests about $2,000 per person in California based on census data.

Democrats have introduced legislation to block questions of citizenship or immigration status from being included in the census.

"Secretary Ross determined that obtaining complete and accurate information to meet this legitimate government objective outweighed the limited potential adverse impacts", it said.

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