Some upset with Trump administration over census citizenship que - WNEM TV 5

Some upset with Trump administration over census citizenship question

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“Are you a U.S. citizen?”

It’s a question that has not been used on the U.S. census since 1950, but it has recently been re-added and it’s causing uproar in several states.

Critics of the move say not only would it scare undocumented immigrants away from filling it out, but some also believe the government would misuse it like it was accused of doing to Japanese Americans during World War II.

“I just think it’s a question that doesn’t need to be on the census,” said Joseph Stricker, resident. “I think it’s just another way for our government to pry into our lives.”

Earlier this week the U.S. Commerce Department announced the citizenship question would be on the 2020 census, sparking a nationwide debate.

“I think it will disrupt our efforts to get an accurate count,” State Rep. Vanessa Guerra said.

Guerra said that question will have a negative impact on communities with high numbers of undocumented immigrants. She said the census, which measures population, is used to help determine the level of federal funding for municipalities nationwide.

She said if the numbers are off, so are the dollars.

“We can only have an accurate count if people feel like they can come forward and participate in the census,” Guerra said.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration stands behind its decision to put the question on the census.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the question needs to be on the census.

“This question has provided data that’s necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters, specifically to help us better comply with the Voting Rights Act,” Sanders said.

At least a dozen states have filed lawsuits to stop the citizenship question from appearing on the census. It is a move Stricker supports.

“I think you’re going to stop the other people, even the documented people from actually filling that question out or filling out the census at all. So, I don’t think you’re going to get an accurate number count that you want to have,” Stricker said.

Every adult living in the United States is required by law to fill out their census form or they face a fine.

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