Opposition to Census Citizenship Question

Racial Justice

Opposition to Census Citizenship Question

In an alarming move widely seen as part of a broader anti-immigrant agenda, the Trump Administration announced that the 2020 census will ask individuals whether they are U.S. citizens. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice stands in firm opposition to the addition of a citizenship question on the upcoming census.

Politicizing the census in this manner undermines the very purpose of the census itself. Citizenship questions may have been a part of the census in the Jim Crow era and until the 1950s, but we need 21st century solutions today.

This change in practice is yet another attack on immigrants in the United States and it is part-and-parcel of the Trump Administration’s discriminatory and anti-immigrant agenda. This new policy targets immigrants explicitly and will only lead to greater fear in immigrant communities.  It also improperly politicizes the census and may lead to inaccurate data, as immigrant families that fear retaliation from the federal government may avoid responding to the census.

This latest action by the Trump Administration is part of a long line of policies that discriminate against immigrants and sow fear in the heart of our communities. From attacking sanctuary cities and dismantling immigration protections such as DACA and TPS to arresting immigrants in courthouses, the federal government has made clear that it will enforce its draconian agenda regardless of the consequences.

These harmful tactics erode confidence in our public institutions and impoverish our democracy.