Frenzy Over Reintroduced Citizenship Census Question is Overblown

01 April, 2018, 00:58 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Census-Citizenship

Citizenship status has been included in surveys of smaller samples of the population, such as the American Community Survey, but that's a far cry from the decennial census, which reaches every household.

At least 12 states are suing the Trump administration to block the decision.

A question about citizenship will be added to the 2020 Census, the U.S. Commerce Department said - a controversial tactic to enforce the Voting Rights Act.

No, it's not. There is nothing wrong with asking about citizenship. The U.S. population is larger and harder to count than ever before.

They noted that the Commerce Department had failed to disclose previous year its plans to include a citizenship topic in the survey as required by federal law.

So why are many on the left up in arms over a question that should be relatively uncontroversial? When the data you are collecting influences the distribution of political power and money for the next ten years, that's a risky risk to take.

"Census data is used to redraw House districts and the number of House seats each state receives, as well as determining each state's number of electoral votes in a presidential election". "There is simply no requirement or need for a citizenship question on the census -but it is consistent with the Trump administration's poor behavior when it comes to threatening to cut off federal funds to the states and marginalizing tax-paying, contributing residents of our communities".

"The president's support for this unnecessary, untested question is just one more example of this administration's hostility toward immigrants and people of color", Gupta said. Everyone is required by law to respond.

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Hillygus' comments on Thursday highlight a different type of concern, a worry that the reliability and accuracy of census data, relied on by policymakers, academics and businesses to inform their work, could be compromised. If they still cannot get a household to cooperate, nonrespondents can be fined or prosecuted - though in practice they rarely are.

Santa Clara County this week filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain more information about how the U.C. Census Bureau plans to protect the privacy of respondents.

After the Census Bureau measure became official, Lujan Grisham issued a statement highlighting the imminent danger of the new question. Critics charge the question is motivated by the president's desire to uproot or de-legitimize non-citizens.

There is no good reason not to answer the census, whether one is here legally or illegally.

The law was changed in 1978 to prohibit the Census Bureau from sharing information with other government agencies for a period of 72 years after it collects personal data. Which brings us to what may be the more insidious objective of the citizenship question: a move by an increasingly nativist administration to more directly tie political representation to citizenship. So what? Illegal immigrants are here illegally.

Colorado U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, referred to the citizenship census question only in generalized terms.

"In a very transparent way, [I] talked to them about our role as federal employees and servants of the people of the United States to ensure that we continue to do a good census regardless of the conditions that we do it under out in the community", he said. I guess all states will soon enter into the sanctuary state swindle to get in on the Congressional seat reapportionment game that California seems to have perfected.

Marc Thiessen is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).


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