Monday, 23 July, 2018

Colorado's Democrats try to block U.S. census citizenship question

Border Patrol agents apprehend illegal immigrants near the US border with Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley Sector near McAllen Texas. – AFP Border Patrol agents apprehend illegal immigrants near the US border with Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley Sector near McAllen Texas. – AFP
Steve Townsend | 01 April, 2018, 00:57

Since then, the Census Bureau has collected information on citizenship from only a representative sample of the population: the approximately one-sixth of households that receive the so-called long-form questionnaire, which asks a number of demographic questions.

The panel, the Census Scientific Advisory Committee, said the addition of the citizenship question would depress the response to the census and stir a potentially damaging flood of misinformation about the government's plans for the citizenship information it collects.

The "sole, sinister purpose" of the 2020 citizenship question "is to suppress the response rate from minorities and new immigrants to counter the growing political power of the non-white population", Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St.

Washington's plan to ask about citizenship during the USA census drew sharp rebukes from Democrats on Tuesday, setting the stage for a bruising partisan brawl with electoral implications. The American Community Survey, which started in 2005, provides data that helps all levels of government, community organizations and businesses make informed decisions. "It's basic common sense for the federal government to get an accurate tally of the citizenship status of people who live in the United States", said Donovan. Between 1820 and 1950, nearly every decennial census asked a question on citizenship in some form.

The citizenship question was espoused by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose Justice Department has been aggressive in expelling undocumented immigrants, and approved by Wilbur Rice, the billionaire who runs the Commerce Department and a backer of tariffs. "We need to prevent that from happening by passing HR5359 the 2020 Census IDEA Act", Eliot said.

That question is are you a citizen or not? Supporters call it an effort to get an accurate count of the USA population.

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Additional criticism of the citizenship question came from attorneys general of 12 predominantly Democratic states.

This decennial census data is perhaps best known as the means by which congressional seats, electors in each state, and how voting districts are drawn. In the extreme case, an inaccurate count could cost North Carolina a 14th congressional seat - something we are otherwise almost certain to receive.

The census, which is mandated under the U.S. Constitution and takes place every 10 years, counts every resident in the United States.

Pelosi also castigated Trump for disregarding the views of earlier Census Bureau directors from both parties who objected to the question, and to recent census staff research that pointed to worries in immigrant communities that census takers will pass data to immigration officials.

The Trump administration announced late Monday that it will ask a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, moving to restore a critical but controversial piece of data from the decennial count.

As a result of the 2010 Census, Washington state, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Georgia and SC gained one seat each in the House while Texas gained four seats and Florida two seats.This did not occur without outcome. 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.

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