US Census Test Run Underway In RI; Here's Why It Matters

Census-Citizenship

The intimidating citizenship question will surely put off people already uneasy about answering the census and will lead to further undercounting of minority populations, experts say.

The concern from Becerra, Schneiderman and others is that people living in the USA who are either not citizens or not in the country legally will be far more reluctant to fill out the Census, thus skewing the data received and depriving certain states the congressional representation they ought to have and the government spending it needs. Political representation is also tied back to this data-congressional seats are assigned based on census results, and state and local governments are use it to produce political district boundaries. This comes just as many Puerto Ricans have left the island for the mainland after a shamefully lacking response by the Trump administration to deal with the prolonged, post-Hurricane Maria blackouts that continue there. Census privacy protections didn't hold up well for Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated during World War II.

The U.S. Census Bureau has released the questions for the upcoming 2020 count.

Colorado U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, referred to the citizenship census question only in generalized terms. The success of the 2020 Census is already in danger due to historic levels of distrust in government, making this decision to add a citizenship question even more disturbing.

A new bill dubbed the 2020 Census IDEA (Improved Data and Enhanced Act) would bar the 2020 US census from including any questions about the citizenship status of those being counted, US Congressman Eliot Engel said in a Twitter message. It's yet to be determined if Trump will still be living there in 2020.

"This untimely, unnecessary, and untested citizenship question will disrupt planning at a critical point, undermine years of painstaking preparation, and increase costs significantly, putting a successful, accurate count at risk", the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said in a statement. In 2010, the overall census count was highly accurate, but certain populations were undercounted, meaning they were missed in the census totals.

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He says a citizenship question could hurt IL due to the high number of non-citizens living in the state.

Democrats have introduced legislation to block questions of citizenship or immigration status from being included in the census.

Richmond's population has jumped above 227,000 people for the first time in at least 40 years, and current trends suggest the capital city's population should easily exceed 230,000 residents when the mandatory 10-year census is taken in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

It's too late to think that the Trump administration will do the right thing and voluntarily drop the citizenship question.

If immigrants are discouraged from participating in the census, the federal government would "make decisions that won't truly represent the needs and rights of everyone in this country", DeGette said. Many have issued statements denouncing the addition of a citizenship question. Given Trump's harsh record on immigration, we can only suspect the worst, which is why federal court is the best place to force all sides to argue their positions - with facts, not hunches or emotions.

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