LATEST UPDATE: The President announced that he will not pursue a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
To protect a fair and accurate Census, the decision to not add the citizenship question is important.
However, in issuing an executive order to government agencies to hand over citizenship data, President Trump is engaging in an abusive power grab. Attorney General Barr reinforced the Administration’s intent to collect citizenship data for the purposes of reapportionment and redistricting. Using citizenship data will erase millions of people from apportionment and redistricting violates the Constitution.
We conduct a census every 10 years to collect objective data about our communities. If that count is inaccurate in 2021, it will turbo-charge gerrymandering and make our district lines even more unfair than they already are.
Getting the next census count right is critical to making sure our government works for everyone — it will shape our nation’s democracy, public policy and economy for the next decade.
But the Administration has launched a systematic assault on the fairness and accuracy of the 2020 Census.
First, the administration dramatically underfunded this crucial initiative. Then, they tried to put a professor working to defend North Carolina’s racial gerrymandering in charge of the count. Now, they’ve announced plans to add an unnecessary, and potentially intimidating question on citizenship status to the Census form.
All of these moves will have the same shameful impact — a skewed Census count will harm our government’s ability to fairly represent all of us.
People of color, particularly Black, Latino and Native American communities in both urban and rural areas, are at an especially high risk of being undercounted by the Census — which translates to unequal representation along racial lines.
Every eligible American wants their voice to be heard and to know that their vote counts in selecting the people and policies that will determine the future of our families and communities. That’s why Common Cause members are stepping up and speaking out to demand a fair and accurate Census — to ensure that we can all have an equal say.