The Trump administration announced late Monday that it will ask a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, moving to restore a critical but controversial piece of data from the decennial count. Immigrant-rights groups had vehemently opposed the move, arguing it would rub some people the wrong way and scare them from participating, and would thus skew the count that is critical to doling out hundreds of billions of dollars in government aid and to fundamental democratic functions such as divvying up congressional seats. Several minority-rights activists called it data “sabotage.” But the Justice Department has asked for the question to be restored, saying they needed it to better enforce critical laws such as the Voting Rights Act. Other government surveys ask about citizenship, but the Justice Department said those don’t get at the same level of granularity that the decennial census does. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross made the final decision to add the question. He said it was part of the full census up through 1950, and even as late as 2000 was part of the Census “long form” that was sent to one in six families. In 2020, though, it will be part of the form that goes out to all families. “I find that the need for accurate citizenship data and the limited burden that the reinstatement of the citizenship question would impose outweighs fears about a potentially lower response rate,” he wrote in a memo laying out his decision. He dismissed concerns from some immigrant-rights groups who say the government would face a backlash from people who distrust it. He said that fear may come to pass, but it’s not tied to the citizenship question itself. In fact, he said, nobody could specifically tie the citizenship question to lower responses. He also said some opponents didn’t realize the question used to be standard on the Census.
Imagine that! And, again, it was used in 1 out of 6 census questionnaires when Clinton was President. Yet, California and other illegal alien protectors are suing to stop it. Makes a wonder why, doesn’t it?