The White House is backing down on trying to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The administration held on for dear life as it was revealed, not surprisingly to most, that the question is meant to favor “non-white Hispanics and Republicans.”
The question would have also likely systematically undercounted Latinos and scared immigrant communities from participating in the survey – which helps determine congressional districts and disbursement of some federal funds.
In Late June, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not include the question on the census without a solid justification and the court found the administration’s rationale for the addition “contrived.”
But that couldn’t stop the administration, until now.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that he instead plans to order every federal agency to give records to the Commerce Department that detail the numbers of citizens and noncitizens in the United States, according to The Washington Post.
He says it will be “far more accurate” and the Census Bureau seems to agree. The use of administrative data could provide an accurate determination of citizenship status down to the block level, according to the Census Bureau, and it could be used by states to determine how districts are drawn.
But Democrats are still fighting against the citizenship question tooth-and-nail.
On Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said the Democratic-led chamber will vote Tuesday to hold Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for not complying with subpoenas related to the reasoning behind the administration’s decision to include the citizenship question.
“The President just admitted what his Administration has been denying for two years — that he wants citizenship data in order to gerrymander legislative districts in partisan and discriminatory ways. This never had anything to do with helping to enforce the Voting Rights Act. That was a sham, and now the entire country can see that,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) told the Post.