Monday, 23 July, 2018

Cummings calls for hearings on citizenship census question

The citizenship question will likely appear on the 2020 Census The citizenship question will likely appear on the 2020 Census
Kelvin Reese | 28 March, 2018, 01:10

"Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea - it is illegal", Becerra wrote after the announcement in an op-ed alongside California secretary of state Alex Padilla. "Our objective is to have this citizenship question - which arbitrarily ignores decade after decade of our nation's regular census practices - not included in the 2020 Census".

The Trump administration is following through on its plans to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, an effort Democrats have decried as an attempt to suppress California's population reporting and cost the state at least one congressional seat.

"The Trump administration's decision to ask about citizenship on the U.S. Census is a gross political act that launches another missile at the heart of New York", Gov.Cuomo said. University of California, Berkeley professor and demographer Kenneth W. Yachter notes that the data it offers could help a school board decide whether or not an additional elementary school needs to be built in a particular district.

"People across the country - including in red, blue, and purple states - need to understand that if their communities are undercounted, they could lose critical funds for highways, education, healthcare, and an array of other federal programs", Cummings continued.

A question that the U.S. Department of Commerce is adding to the 2202 Census has caused some controversy.

"Having citizenship data at the census block level will permit more effective enforcement of the VRA, and Secretary Ross determined that obtaining complete and accurate information to meet this legitimate government goal outweighed the limited potential adverse impacts", the statement said. They would simply avoid the census - as is every American's right, incidentally - for fear that the next knock on their door wouldn't be a census taker, it would be a federal immigration agent.

The Justice Department said in a statement it was important to restore the use of a citizenship question in the 10-year census because it is used for redistricting purposes and the yearly survey is not the most appropriate data to use for that objective.

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"With an inaccurate census, all those forecasts become inaccurate and the whole planning and process in business and government is impaired", says Wachter.

Democrats quickly expressed their opposition, questioning the constitutionality of the citizenship question.

Former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder also blasted the move and said his organization, which focuses on voting enfranchisement and redistricting, would also pursue litigation against what he called an "irresponsible decision".

Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation last week that would prohibit the commerce secretary from enacting any major operational design that had not been researched and tested for less than three years prior to the opening day of the census.

Becerra is expected to announce the lawsuit, which could also include 18 other states, on Tuesday morning.

The population count taken every 10 years is more than an academic exercise. The move comes after a 2017 request by the Justice Department to include the question.

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