Question on citizenship threatens our census

Question on citizenship threatens our census

CT state officials have joined a coalition of attorneys general and cities in filing a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump Administration from demanding citizenship information in the 2020 decennial Census.

That's another issue raised by the case: the questions haven't gone through the testing typically required prior to inclusion on the decennial census.

New York Attorney General Attorney General Eric Schneiderman poses for a photo with members of District Council 37 after a news conference, Tuesday, in which Schneiderman announced a new lawsuit by seventeen states, the District of Columbia and six cities against the USA government.

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State Attorney General George Jepsen says the move creates a "chilling effect" in immigrant communities.

In announcing it, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused the administration of being "out to destroy" the constitutionally mandated count.

Potentially unconstitutional, an increased likelihood of an inaccurate count and the fact that including the question doesn't align with the Census Bureau's own standards for adding questions leads one to ask 'why?' Is the Trump Administration's hatred of immigrant populations so strong that they are willing to hijack a constitutionally mandated survey that helps ensure we are a government for the people, by the people?

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The census has not asked all US households about citizenship since 1950.

In Iowa, the lawsuit claims, even a 1 percent undercount would cost the state $38 million in Medicaid funding. The head count also determines the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal grants and subsidies.

The lawsuit, also brought by the bipartisan US Conference of Mayors, said adding the citizenship question was arbitrary and would "fatally undermine the accuracy of the population count". As such, they stand to lose federal funding and representation in the House of Representatives unless the citizenship question is removed from the questionnaire. And in 1979, eight former census directors, who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents, affirmed a citizenship question would undermine the goal of the census itself. "Now, the Trump administration is breaking with that tradition-recklessly abandoning almost 70 years of practice by demanding to know the citizenship status of each resident counted". Obtaining the cooperation of a suspicious and fearful population would be impossible if the group being counted perceived any possibility of the information being used against them. According to the NY complaint, the Trump administration "added a demand for citizenship information to the 2020 questionnaire after less than four months of consideration", and it "did not conduct any research into the potential performance of the citizenship demand, and did not test the impact of adding a citizenship demand on data accuracy". Immigrants account for 9.6 percent of Oregon's population, the suit claims, and in 2014, around 32 percent of immigrants in OR were undocumented.

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