Have you heard about the controversy around adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census? Why is this an issue? Data from the census are used to determine allocations of federal funds as well as legislative districts (which means the number of congressional seats). WIOA Title II funds, for example, are distributed to states using a formula that relies on census data. At issue is the decision announced in March to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Many in the nonprofit community believe that a question on citizenship would stifle participation by people in many communities and lead to an unfair, inaccurate, and incomplete count of every person in America. The Washington Post published a pointed editorial, writing, “Adding a citizenship question on a form sent by an administration explicitly hostile to migrants is highly likely to depress response rates among immigrants, even those who have naturalized.”
Judging the Census Citizenship Question: A federal district judge is letting the lawsuit by 18 states and several smaller jurisdictions go forward, saying there was an appearance of “bad faith” behind the Trump Administration’s disputed decision to add a question about citizenship.
For more information about this, go to censusproject.org. If you want to advocate on this issue, either pro or con, the comment period is open until August 7, 2018 with information in the Federal Register.