Trump Administration’s Move To Include “Citizenship” Clause In Census Seen Mala-Fide
The decision by the Trump administration to include a Citizenship question to the 2020 census is drawing criticism from Democrats and rights activists who see the proposed changes as a political move as part of the crackdown on country’s millions of undocumented immigrants.
“I want to say in no uncertain terms I think this is an absolutely awful decision,” D. Sunshine Hillygus, professor at Duke University who serves on the Census Scientific Advisory Committee told online News magazine The Hill, saying she was dumbfounded by the decision which she said would largely be viewed as a political decision.
The scepticism over the proposed amendment is rooted in the anti-immigration policies of President Trump who, since taking over the White House last year, has announced several measures against undocumented aliens and has even proposed to tighten the legal immigration.
An estimated 11 million immigrants are seen as living in the country without any legal documents and many face deportation. A recent decision to end a program, that provided protection to an estimated 800,000 children brought by their parents and called “Dreamers” for their educational pursuit.
The US Census Bureau this month decided to include the question on citizenship to the 2020 Census, saying this will help protect minority rights.
But liberal opponents expressed scepticism over the proposed move which they said was designed to reduce their representation in Congress and federal funding for the local jurisdiction.
Federal funding is provided in proportion to state’s population and rights activists fear that due to fear over the crackdown on immigrants, many aliens would not take part in the census and would thus undermine the credibility of population data.
Several states, including New York and California, have announced they would challenge the move in courts. The question was last included in the 1950 Census. Some of the experts believe the Trump administration could win legal challenges to the citizenship question.
“Because it is viewed as a strictly political decision, I think it doesn’t matter how much the Census Bureau says we will keep your data confidential,” said professor Hillygus, who observed that this would fuel the perception that the data would be used against non-citizens.