Current Events

Are You An American Citizen?

Why is this such a loaded question?

The nation’s highest court ruled against adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but its fate is *still* unclear.

Why?

Current Events

Backstory

  • 2018: Commerce Dept. says it will add a citizenship question to 2020 census. Critics say this will discourage respondents.
  • June: Supreme Court sends the case back to lower courts, saying the reason provided by Trump admin for adding the question (to enforce a federal law aimed at protecting minority voters) seemed “contrived.”
Current Events

Latest

  • Last Tuesday: DOJ said there would be “no citizenship question on 2020 census”; Census Bureau began printing questionnaires without the citizenship question.
  • Last Wednesday: Pres. Trump said the gov’t is “absolutely moving forward” in its quest to put the question on the census.
  • January 2020: Census counting starts.
Current Events

“I agree with him that the Supreme Court decision was wrong.”

Attorney General William Barr affirming on Monday he agrees with the President on adding the citizenship question to the census; he offered no specifics but said the Trump administration will soon take action he believes will permit the gov't to include the question regardless.
Current Events

Why We Count

  • Constitution mandates that gov’t count population every 10 years.
  • Used to distribute the 435 seats in the House of Representatives and shape congressional & state districts.
  • Many federal & state programs rely on data to distribute fund$ used to build schools, roads, etc.
Current Events

Also Worth Noting …

The Census Bureau is legally prohibited from disclosing any census information that identifies an individual or business – even to other federal agencies – until 72 years after it is collected.

EXCEPTION: Anonymous demographical information on neighborhoods.

Current Events

DID YOU KNOW? Since 1790, a citizenship question has been included in 10 of the 23 census questionnaires, however citizenship data from the whole population has not been collected since 1950.

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