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Citizenship Question to Be Reinstated for 2020 Census
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Summary: The question of one’s citizenship will be reinstated on the Census, starting in 2020.

The Commerce Department announced on Monday that the question of citizenship will be reinstated on the US Census, starting in 2020.


“The citizenship question will be the same as the one that is asked on the yearly American Community Survey (ACS),” the Commerce Department said. “Citizenship questions have also been included on prior decennial censuses. Between 1820 and 1950, almost every decennial census asked a question on citizenship in some form. Today, surveys of sample populations, such as the Current Population Survey and the ACS, continue to ask a question on citizenship.”

The controversial move came at the request of the Department of Justice, according to CNN. The DOJ said that it was needed to better enforce the Voting Rights Act, but opponents argued that it would cause undocumented people to not complete the questionnaire and therefore negatively affect the accuracy of the results.

“This is an arbitrary and untested decision that all but guarantees that the Census will not produce a full and accurate count of the population as the constitution requires,” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told CNN.

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The Census is administered every ten years in order to determine how federal funds are spent and how congressional districts are drawn. It is intended to count the entire population and not just citizens.

The Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said the decision to reinstate the citizenship question was to obtain “complete and accurate information to meet this legitimate government purpose outweighed the limited potential adverse impacts.” However, almost 20 state attorney generals disagreed, and they said that the change in the Census was unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, California’s AG  Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, challenging the Census change.

“The census numbers provide the backbone for planning how our communities can grow and thrive in the coming decade,” Becerra told the New York Times. “What the Trump administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is an unconstitutional attempt to discourage an accurate census count.”

New York’s AG, Eric Schneiderman, told Reuters he also planned to sue over the Census question. His office stated that they planned to file their lawsuit after Saturday, which is the date the Commerce Department is expected to submit their report to Congress.

The change in the Census is supported by President Donald Trump, who has made tough immigration policies one of his major platforms.

What do you think of this change in the Census? Let us know in the comments below.


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