The Trump Administration is trying to game how many votes each state will get in the Electoral College. Seems crazy, but it’s true.
At the same time, they’re also trying to hurt states with large immigrant communities. Now that sounds about right for this administration, does it not?
What I’m talking about today is the U.S. Census.
The Census, which is conducted every 10 years, is designed to count everyone in the country. The next one is right around the corner in 2020.
The population counts the Census collects is used for two primary purposes: 1) To determine where to allocate billions of federal dollars (think hospitals, public schools, public services, etc.), and 2) determine how many U.S. Representatives in Congress a state should have (and therefore Electoral College votes).
The Trump administration, through the Commerce Department which oversees the Census Bureau, decided to add a citizenship question to the Census this year, and right away many people and organizations cried foul.
I’ve seen multiple groups talking about what we can do. Essentially, we have an opportunity right now to flood the government with comments. [I want to thank my friend Adam Fernandez (Twitter: @AdamaEsq) for alerting me to some details that appear in this post.]
Why shouldn’t there be a citizenship question on the Census?
In a nutshell, the citizenship question is designed to suppress participation in the Census from a number of communities. If that happens, the Census will undercount the population. States with large immigrant or minority populations will be the ones most affected, and they’ll lose federal funds and could easily lose congressional seats in the U.S. House.
The citizenship question, in effect, is an attempt to transfer political power and money from big, (often blue), states to small, rural, (often red) states.
To read more about this, check out:
The Nation: Say No to a Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census
It turns out that anti-immigration hard-liners like then–White House aide Steve Bannon and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach urged the administration to force a citizenship question onto the 2020 questionnaire to further their political agenda. The documents released by the DOJ also show that the Census Bureau warned Commerce Department leadership about the disastrous results: depressed response rates, increased costs, and inaccurate data that the nation would have to grapple with for the next 10 years.
New York Times: New Emails Show Push by Trump Officials to Add Citizenship Question to Census
Reuters: U.S. Must Face Multi-State Lawsuit Over Census Citizenship Question
What we can do
Whenever a new rule or regulation is proposed by the government, they solicit public comments. These comments are used in a number of ways and MUST be reviewed before a rule can go into effect. The Commerce Department is now soliciting comments about the addition of the citizenship question on the Census. The comments must be received before midnight (Eastern Time) on Tuesday, August 7.
Adding a comment is quick and easy, and is so incredibly important. There is a multi-state lawsuit right now challenging the Trump administration’s inclusion of the question, and having an overwhelming number of comments in opposition to the question will help their case by proving that the general public is indeed, opposed to the citizenship question.
How to comment on a proposed rule
✦ Go to the Regulations.gov link here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=USBC-2018-0005
✦ Click the Comment Now! button
✦ Write your comment and submit it. It’ll only take a minute or two.
What should you write?
It’s important to write your own words, although if you see a sample comment, you can make your own edits to it, instead of writing it from scratch.
Here’s a sample comment: I request that the Census Bureau remove the proposed citizenship question from the 2020 Census. It is unnecessary, discriminatory, and will lead to an undercount that will significantly compromise the Bureau’s ability to accurately count all “persons” within the U.S.
You can also get some ideas for your comment from my earlier post: Why Is The Census Important?
Remember, all comments must be submitted by midnight (Eastern Time) on Tuesday, August 7. Thank you for taking a moment to ensure that we get an accurate count of the population in 2020. It is such an incredibly important undertaking. We must get it right!
Take Charge of your Activism
Leave a Reply