Adding a citizenship question to the census would harm immigrant communities for decades to come.
The goal of the census is to collect an accurate count of residents. Experts worry that adding a question about citizenship would scare many immigrants from responding. The effect would be an undercount of immigrant communities, which could skew their political representation and cause them to lose out on federal funding, including for health care programs.
Census data helps the government determine where to disperse federal tax dollars for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Title X, and other vital health care programs.Planned Parenthood Action Fund
The Commerce Department and Census Bureau face six lawsuits from states, cities and groups that want the citizenship question off — including a suit that alleges the addition was motivated by discrimination and would result in less political power in places where many immigrants live.Washington Post
Federal law blocks undocumented immigrants from Medicaid and bans them from buying insurance on the ACA Marketplace. Direct barriers like these and fear of deportation for themselves and their loved ones can drive immigrants into the shadows.Planned Parenthood Action Fund
A citizenship question has not been on the U.S. census since 1950.
Code Switch, NPR
Asking about citizenship on the census targets immigrants.
The Trump-Pence administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies have created a climate of fear among immigrants, who may avoid participating just to stay under the radar.
The Trump administration is shamelessly weaponizing the census to wage its war on communities of color, immigrants and the poor.”
NY ACLU Executive Director
During a public comment period that ended in early August, many respondents called on the administration to drop its plans to add the question.Reuters