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'A Huge Crisis for Democracy' as Trump Adds Citizenship Question to 2020 Census


'A Huge Crisis for Democracy' as Trump Adds Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

Jake Johnson, staff writer

In a move denounced by immigrant rights advocates and legal experts as an effort to "undercount communities of color" that could have an enormous impact on the drawing of congressional districts, the Trump administration announced late Monday that the 2020 Census will ask respondents whether or not they are U.S. citizens.


We have to come up with some way to get some of this shit out of the hands of partisan politics; voting rights, judges, redistricting, census are the first that come to mind.


Not having been contacted by a census taker in decades I must assume that I don’t count (a given in empire, of course) or that I am “counted” using some sort of statistical algorithm. The latter, which is likely, is fraught with the hazard that such an algorithm can easily be tweaked toward politically desirable results by changing the assumptions used. Whether by censoring results through intimidating questions or adjusting algorithms Team Trump will do their best to effect mathematical redistricting to replace the loss of optimal gerrymandering. Expect no less.


More effective than his wall. Per US Code, Title 13 (Census), Chapter 7 (Offenses and Penalties), SubChapter II, failure to complete census info., truthfully, info is illegal. The US justice department will, no doubt, use any such violation as grounds for immediate deportation. However, it is clear that ICE will obtain this information and every undocumented person who fills out the census truthfully will find face targeting by ICE.


While we’re on the subject, it bears repeating that the number of congresscritters (435 reps and 100 senators) stands where it was in 1912, when our population was a third of what it now is. The notion that only 535 people—from only two marginally different political parties—can fairly represent a third of a billion people is absurd on its face.

Greatly increasing the number of seats in congress would make gerrymandering and bribery—er, lobbying—much more difficult and expensive, in addition to its other benefits.


The primary data collection is done by an attempt to contact every household. Perhaps you live in a household where someone else filled out the census form and included your information in it. They really do try to reach everyone.


Nope, always lived alone. Maybe they asked neighbors, but not me.


2018 is the silent spring. Robins have pooped red privet poop on white snow since the dawn of eternity. Until the silent spring of 2018. There is no snow. There are no Robins. Privet berry seeds dry and shrivel in place. A few lonely crows and occasional geese. The last lonely eagles watch forlornly. Eagles hear as good as they see; 2018 is an alert eagle’s silent spring. The last lonely eagles don’t know what to think.

This article is designed by Trump to keep people preoccupied and waiting for the next trump zinger.


You still should have gotten something in the mail. Maybe you threw it out?

My wife worked as a census taker - the easiest work was in a nearby apartment complex housing Nepali-Bhutanese refugees and other immigrants. The greatest hostility was when she came knocking of the doors moderately affluent conservative suburban homes.


Possibly I did receive something by mail (which I would have completed and returned, but not remembered). I know that I only spoke to a census taker once back in the '80s when, in fact, I did live in an apartment. There were no Nepali-Bhutanese refugees present, but there was an awesome tamale stand across the street.


During the past half century the GOP makes every effort to understate population growth in the states that are growing while overstating population stats in states with stagnant and shrinking populations (the states where the GOP gets lots of electoral votes).

The citizenship question is just one more way to manipulate census data in the GOP’s favor.


That makes sense. Actual in-person interviews are pretty rare since the vast majority just fill the survey quickly and return by mail. Also, since most people get the short survey - the form only takes a few minutes so it would indeed be easy to forget 8 years later that you even did it. If you get the long form to fill out - you would remember it.


Where can one find the details behind the removal of the citizenship question in 1950?

There had to be some discussion/debate about doing so.


i just tried to find it quickly and found it difficult. even the census site doesn’t address specifically this question, although there are clues to why it might have changed then (1950 was the first census into americans living abroad and full coverage of colonial and commonwealth holdings)

there was also, in that era, an issue with some of the Southwest states–especially California–and the bracero programs and other influx of migrant worker s for agriculture as a result of the post war lack of manpower in big Ag. I did see some reference to those states arguing that they needed to be able to support areas with non-citizens who were doing essential tasks and by excluding non-citizens from the count, all the new road programs and other social spending by the feds unique to the post war era would be misallocated from areas that needed them (public health was a big one).

Interestingly enough, this was one of the most significant eras of an influx of “illegals” in modern US history, and it’s likely no coincidence that what you’re seeing now mirrors that time.

The more the government spends on population count, the higher the incentive to minimize the citizenship status of that population, especially in states with high migrant populations, and, let’s face it, California is politically very powerful.


My household is censused via a form received in the mail and returned by mail. Do you have a mail address either street ir post office


After Obama, I am done being a knee jerk Democrat. I did not and will not vote for a war criminal, such a Hillary. Yes, the citizenship question belongs on the census. Representation should be apportioned according to citizenship, not total population.


Based on what principle?


Perhaps based on the principle that representatives should be accountable to their voters (so only voting age citizens would be counted).

On democracy now this morning a claim was made that even citizen immigrants would want to avoid the census - I’m not sure I get that one. I don’t hold the typical left view on immigration unlike most other issues. It isn’t obvious to me that my state (CA) has any business suing over this change regardless of whether it is good or bad overall (it will probably be bad given Trump is behind it).


Don’t forget your Plott Hound.

For many years I too lived with my animals, and I was not alone.

Humans aren’t required to live with other humans.

Less disfunction that way.


My neighbor is 103 years old, has been a legal immigrant from Ireland since 1939 and has never sought US citizenship. Ditto her husband until he died a decade ago. She says the only thing she can’t do as a non-citizen living in the US is vote in the US.

During a year long trip around the world in 1976-77 I encountered many US citizens living abroad who had no intent of returning to the US or becoming citizens of the country where I met them. Non citizens living abroad has always been very common in most nations.

Seeing how census data affects so many things, political and non-political, it is not surprising that the census has never included the citizenship question, and even less surprising that Trump wants to add it since his presidency is based on fake news about immigration and related follies such as building a $40 billion wall when more immigrants have traveled out across the Mexican border than in during the past decade.

Each incident of Faux News’ and Trump’s fake news begets more fake news.