The 2020 Census Has a New Controversial Question

The Department of Commerce made a bold move this past Monday when they announced the addition of a question to the 2020 census that has not been used for 68 years. The recycled question could cause many individuals to stop filling out the census, ultimately making it's purpose null and void. According to the Department of Commerce, this decision was made following a request from the Department of Justice, who finds that the question will help enforce the Voters Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting

The question will ask people whether or not they are citizens of the United States and as one can imagine this may deter immigrants from filling out the census in the first place. Immigrants make up a large portion of the population and without their answers the result of the census may be extremely inaccurate, which could lead to trouble for citizens even decades from now. 

If a part of the population remains uncounted for then the purpose of the census becomes invalid. Many lawmakers and influential government officials believe that this is inhuman and a direct attack on immigrants. "The citizenship question is the latest attempt by President Trump to stoke the fires of anti-immigrant hostility," says California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla. Subsequent to the Department of Commerce's decision, the state of California chose to challenge the plan in federal court and sue. 

The census is given every 10 years and is a constitutional requirement as it not only determines the number of seats a state has in the House, but also how much federal funding is needed and where. The last census that was distributed in 2010 had a high response rate- 74% of households answered the census, however with the new question appearing on the 2020 census, it is unclear if that percentage will remain as high. 

As of 2017 there are over 37,000,000 immigrants in the United States and a large percentage of them are undocumented. The citizenship question added to the census would only make undocumented immigrants wary of completing it for fear that they may be located and deported. As we already know, most immigrants are pertinent to the continued success of our country so the Department of Commerce's decision not only impacts immigrants, but U.S citizens as well. 

As more and more states catch wind of the question, there will be innumerable lawsuits filed in court in order to combat this decision. Given the fact that this news was first released in an email sent out by Donald Trumps 2020 reelection campaign, it is painfully obvious that he has not changed his unpatriotic views on immigration.