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Census: Decision to add citizenship question draws protest

28 March 2018, 01:13 | Melanie Burgess

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Census Takers

"Particularly in the current national climate, a citizenship question will obviously cause great consternation and discourage participation in the census".

The agency said the citizenship question will help to ensure enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, a 1965 law created to ensure minority access to the polls.

"The Constitution requires us to count every person living in the United States, not every citizen", Mr Galvin said.

The Commerce Department announced the question would be added to the 2020 Census on Monday night, saying it will help enforce the Voting Rights Act.

The state of California has perhaps the most to lose if the citizenship question does influence participation in the census count.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Tuesday slamming a decision to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 U.S. Census.

Previously, Becerra and officials from 18 other states told Commerce Secretary Ross threatening a lawsuit if the Census Bureau includes a question about citizenship on its main 2020 Census form. "We urge the administration to reconsider".

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Former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder has described the Trump administration action as a "direct attack on our representative democracy" and we inclined to agree. Make no mistake: "this decision is anti-immigrant and is intended only to serve the political agenda of those in power in Washington", he said. Citizenship questions have also been included on prior decennial censuses.

Indeed, the announcement was met with significant criticism from census experts.

Michael Strain, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said the move risked introducing "significant inaccuracy" into the census count.

"With an inaccurate census, all those forecasts become inaccurate and the whole planning and process in business and government is impaired", says Wachter. "And the census is only as good as the public's willingness to participate". This isn't the first time the census has run afoul of politics (in years past, some have similarly resisted outreach efforts to track down, or perhaps estimate the number of, homeless and other low-income individuals who might otherwise go unnoticed), but it's surely among the most heavy-handed to date given that the estimated 12 million undocumented who are in danger of being ignored altogether. "My guess? We will have a less accurate census than the nation could have had".

California has been at the forefront of immigration-related lawsuits recently.

That would affect everything from how many representatives a state sends to Congress to how much money different areas receive from the federal government for such things as Medicaid and highway funds.

Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases Coherent strategy needed beyond limited sanctions to counter Russian aggression House Oversight Dems: GOP blocking request for Trump admin records MORE (D-Md.) is calling on Oversight Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyDem senator introduces bill to publicize Trump officials" flying Gowdy: Trump's lawyers doing "disservice' by framing Mueller probe around collusion House Oversight chairman requests details on Zinke's 9K door MORE (R-S.C.) to hold hearings on the constitutionality of adding a question on citizenship to the US census.

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