The U.S. Supreme Court will begin a hearing Tuesday on whether to include the citizenship question in the U.S. Census. Several advocacy groups and localities will argue that the question is a deterrent for non-citizens filling out the form. Ahead of Monday’s hearing, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) shared its “elevator pitch” on everything wrong with the citizenship question. The video featured American actor and comedian Ike Barinholtz. According to the video, the question will prompt 6.5 million people to not respond.
Arguing that immigrant populations will “freak out” over the question, the other actor said, “Can you really blame people, especially immigrants and people with immigrants in their families if they don’t really feel like sharing information with this administration?”
We're headed to the Supreme Court next week to protect the 2020 census.
— ACLU (@ACLU) April 17, 2019
Last year the U.S. Department of Justice requested the move from the Census Bureau arguing that it will reinforce the Voting Rights Act. The U.S. Department of Commerce distributes the Census. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he will support the move. The question appeared on census forms 70 years ago. According to the Commerce Department, the question already appears on the annually distributed American Community Survey.
“It is worth noting that the citizenship question does not ask about a person’s legal status; it merely asks about citizenship status and thus has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration enforcement.” wrote Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last year, “In fact, federal law prevents census data from being used for anything other than statistical analysis. That is the law and there is no evidence any agency intends to violate it.”
According to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), accounting for non-citizens in the census results in a redistribution of seats in the House of Representatives and votes in the electoral college.
The left argues that the Trump administration is driven to promote a racist agenda to exclude immigrants. However, Fox News Contributor Deroy Murdock argues that the “data would help policymakers allocate tax dollars for civics classes, naturalization personnel, and other efforts at inclusion and assimilation.”
Ultimately, the highest court will begin to find an answer this controversial question.