Why the census shouldn't include a question about citizenship

18 States Sue Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has signed on to a lawsuit against the federal government over its decision to add a question about a person's citizenship to the U.S. census in 2020.

"They're throwing away decades of proven practice by demanding that people responding to this census disclose their citizenship status", Schneiderman said.

"President Trump is trying to force America's immigrants into the shadows, and Chicago is proud to join with leaders from across the country in standing up to the latest effort to undermine our residents' rights", he added. Our state and City are united in fighting against this attempt by the Trump administration to stifle democracy, strip our community of much-needed resources, and undercount communities of color and immigrants, " said Mayor Durkan.

The US Department of Commerce said in a release that citizenship questions had been included on previous censuses.

The Trump administration announced last week it plans to reinstate a census question asking respondents if they are American citizens.

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"Adding an untested citizenship question at this point would sabotage the accuracy of the 2020 Census and threaten federal funding for critical programs in MA", said AG Healey. "Yet this question about citizenship discourages accuracy and inclusion and it runs counter to the intent behind the law, as inscribed in our Constitution". As for Medicaid, "Oregon received $3.64 billion in reimbursement under the Medicaid program, and an additional 1% undercount on the 2010 Census would have resulted in losses of over $44 million in federal funding".

All U.S. residents are required under the U.S. Constitution to be counted every 10 years.

According to the lawsuit, almost a quarter of households in ny state did not return their 2010 census questionnaire, requiring an in-person follow-up. And in 1979, eight former census directors, who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents, affirmed a citizenship question would undermine the objective of the census itself.

Swanson added, "An accurate count of the population is important to establish the rights and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments". It also states that the new question violates the Administrative Procedure Act and does not follow the Census Bureau's standards for accepting new questions. However, simply adding a question about a person's citizenship has the very real potential to reduce its accuracy and drive up the already high cost of conducting the count. And "that will hurt the states that have a significant population of immigrants".

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