Trump Makes Good on Promise to Add Citizenship Question to Census


The Trump administration announced Monday that a question about citizenship with officially be listed on the 2020 census.

The final decision to add the question was made by Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“I find that the need for accurate citizenship data and the limited burden that the reinstatement of the citizenship question would impose outweighs fears about a potentially lower response rate,” Ross wrote in a memo explaining his decision.

Are you glad a question about citizenship will be on the 2020 census?
In a December 2017 letter, the Justice Department argued that including a citizenship question would “allow the agency to better enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which bars the dilution of voting power of a minority group through redistricting.”

“To fully enforce those requirements, the Department needs a reliable calculation of the citizen voting-age population in localities where voting rights violations are alleged or suspected,” the letter stated.

This is the first time that such a question will be asked on the decennial census since 1950.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the question will ask whether a person is a citizen by birth or by naturalization or isn’t a citizen, but won’t ask about whether the immigrant is here illegally.

Democrats, immigration-advocacy groups and even the state of California condemned the decision, claiming the question would scare people from participating and result in a lower census count.

“@CommerceGov Secretary Ross’ decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census will only result in a low count and fear. The question is another way to push for a low & unfair count. I will present amendment to under this language,” New York Rep. Jose Serrano tweeted.

By Monday evening, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced plans to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the decision.

“The Trump administration is threatening to derail the integrity of the census by seeking to add a question relating to citizenship to the 2020 census questionnaire. Innocuous at first blush, its effect would be truly insidious. It would discourage noncitizens and their citizen family members from responding to the census, resulting in a less accurate population count,” he said in a statement.

“Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea — it is illegal,” Becerra added.

This lawsuit comes after the Trump administration filed a lawsuit against California earlier this month for protecting law-violating illegal immigrants from federal immigration authorities, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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In a statement from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, she thanked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his efforts to protect Americans and enforce the law.

“California has chosen to purposefully contradict the will and responsibility of the Congress to protect our Homeland,” she stated. “I appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice to uphold the rule of law and protect American communities.”

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Rebekah Baker is the former deputy managing editor of The Western Journal.
Rebekah Baker is the former deputy managing editor of The Western Journal. She graduated from Grove City College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She has written hundreds of articles on topics like the sanctity of life, free speech and freedom of religion.
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Faith