New question on 2020 census will ask about citizenship status
The Trump Administration announced the 2020 census will ask the question, ” Are you a citizen of the United States?”
The Commerce Department said the citizenship question would be added back in, after a request by the justice department made in December.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross released a statement saying his department “has determined that reinstatement of a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire is necessary to provide complete and accurate census data.”
The announcement is drawing protest from Democrats, who say the inclusion of such a question amounts to an effort to intimidate immigrant communities.
At least 12 states are signaling they will follow California and sue to block this move. Other states include New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington.
The Trump Administration is defending the citizenship question by saying it is needed to better enforce the Voting Rights Act, which relies on accurate estimations of voting-eligible populations.
The decennial census count is required by the constitution and its results are used to determine federal spending, as well as the number of congressional seats allocated to each state for the next decade, in addition to the number of electoral votes available from each state.