The last time that households across the country were asked about their citizenship status on a decennial census was in 1950, but even that census did not pose a question quite like the one the Trump administration wants to ask in 2020. The Trump administration wants to ask everyone whether or not they are an American citizen, and Democrats are concerned it could deter immigrant families from participating. However, Congress could block the census citizenship question by passing a new government funding bill, The Hill reported.
On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill that would prevent the Census Bureau from adopting a citizenship question in 2020 by adjusting funding levels for commerce, justice, science, and related agencies. According to The Hill, the broader House is expected to discuss and vote on this legislation in June. The Supreme Court is also expected to take up the citizenship question case in the near future, NPR reported.
The Trump administration has claimed that it wants to pose a citizenship question on the 2020 census to better enforce the Voting Rights Act, NPR reported, specifically its protections against discrimination. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Trump administration has argued that collecting citizenship data is necessary to determine how many eligible voters live in regions where such discrimination has allegedly occurred. Bustle has reached out to the White House for clarification.
However, Census Bureau officials have previously discouraged incorporating a citizenship question into the census, NPR reported, out of concern that the accuracy of the information collected could be compromised. Andrew Pincus, an attorney representing former Census Bureau directors who filed a Supreme Court brief over the matter, told NPR that officials have been able to enforce the Voting Rights Act for decades, even without being able to access citizenship data.
More to come…
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