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Take Action: Submit a comment opposing the addition of the Citizenship question on the 2020 Census On March 26, 2018 the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The addition of a citizenship question will significantly increase the cost of the 2020 Census, result in far less accurate data, and ultimately result in a loss of federal funds to North Carolina communities.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross received advance warning that his plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census would stir controversy, according to a Duke professor who served on the Census Scientific Advising Committee. D. Sunshine Hillygus, professor of political science and director of the Duke Initiative on Survey Methodology, said the committee sent Ross an official recommendation urging him to abandon the idea. Despite the committee’s suggestion, Ross announced on March 26 that the 2020 census would inquire about citizenship at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice.
It’s a simple enough question: Are you a citizen of the United States? The motivation for the Census Bureau to ask about citizenship seems straightforward – just count the number of non-citizens in the US. Unfortunately like so many things that have to do with human behavior, it’s complicated. Many experts believe non-citizens will simply stop and not participate in the Census at all if it includes a citizenship question.
Last week, the Trump administration decided that the next census would ask every person in the country about their citizenship. An uproar followed. Minority communities will bear the most immediate brunt; indeed, some believe that’s the very reason for the change. But the related assumption — that the decision benefits Republicans — may be strikingly myopic.
North Carolina is one of seventeen states including the District of Columbia and six cities to sue the U.S. government Tuesday, saying the addition of a citizenship question to the census form is unconstitutional.
President Donald Trump wants to add an additional question to the 2020 Census: “Are you a citizen of the United States?" Some North Carolina officials and activists feel that putting a citizenship question on the U.S. census is a big deal that could impact participation.
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that a question on citizenship status will be reinstated to the 2020 decennial census questionnaire to help enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Secretary Ross’s decision follows a request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 decennial census.
Census advocates got an unexpected surprise Wednesday night when the House’s $1.3 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2018 included more funding for the Census Bureau than they had expected or even dreamed of asking for. The bill, which the House passed on Thursday, allocates $2.814 billion for the Census Bureau, nearly double the 2017 funding level of $1.47 billion, and $1.13 billion more than the administration’s adjusted request for 2018.
The Trump administration’s pick for a key position overseeing the 2020 Census is out, the Commerce Department confirmed Monday, as civil rights groups applauded the decision. A Commerce Department spokesman said political scientist Thomas Brunell was no longer under consideration for deputy director of the Census Bureau but provided no further details.
The upcoming US Census will more accurately reflect the make-up of North Carolina’s military communities thanks to a decision by the US Census Bureau to count deployed military at their latest base address.