Dems Seek to Remove Citizenship Question from Census

Dems Seek to Remove Citizenship Question from Census

By Forum Staff

Congresswoman (D-Flushing) and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) announced on Monday they are leading efforts to block a renewed attempt by Republicans to include a citizenship question on the Census.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pushed to add a question on the 2020 Census which would have asked respondents about their citizenship status. Meng and Hirono fought against the plan, and after the Supreme Court blocked it from moving forward, the Trump administration abandoned its crusade.

But now House Republicans have attached a measure to a key spending bill that would effectively require the Census Bureau to ask respondents about their citizenship status. In a letter they wrote to congressional leaders, Meng and Hirono urged that the provision be removed from this bill.

Meng and Hirono argue that a citizenship question will result in an undercount of immigrant communities out of fear that the information they provide will be used against them.

“The GOP hiding their efforts to add a citizenship question to the census in an appropriations bill is reckless and disgraceful,” said Meng, the House Appropriations Committee’s Vice Ranking Member. “This is another attack on our nation’s hard-working immigrants. This is not Republicans’ first attempt to silence immigrants. Adding a question about citizenship to the census would only create fear and reduce response rates in immigrant communities. As I said during our previous fight against the creation of a citizenship question, this decrease in response rates would produce an incomplete and therefore inaccurate count of the people living in the United States—the people who are valued workers, students, community leaders, our neighbors and our loved ones. This would impact the distribution of the billions of dollars in federal resources that are provided to schools, infrastructure projects, social services, and other crucial resources, as well as congressional representation in communities throughout the country—for a decade. Our constitution is clear: the census must count every person in our country. We don’t need a citizenship question; we need an accurate census count.”

“The Constitution requires every person to be counted for the U.S. Census and our country has never excluded undocumented individuals from the apportionment process,” Hirono said. “This process plays a key role in informing numerous important decisions for our communities, such as determining representation in Congress and allocating government resources. However, despite the Supreme Court blocking Trump’s efforts in the past, House Republicans are still trying to impose a citizenship question in the Census and attack vulnerable, underrepresented groups. I will continue to push back against any effort to exclude people—regardless of their citizenship or immigration status—from being counted in the U.S. Census.”

The lawmakers’ letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is signed by 48 other Senators and House members.

Republicans are pushing their renewed attempt for a citizenship question in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act (H.R. 5893) which funds the departments of Commerce, Justice and other science-related programs.

The census is conducted by the federal government every 10 years. It seeks to count all people residing in the U.S., and the results determine the number of members of Congress representing each state and the amount of federal money that is provided to communities.


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