It's final! Citizenship Question will not be on the 2020 Census and what that means for now.
After over a year of deliberation and much handwringing on all sides, the Trump administration finally abandoned their desire to have a citizenship question on next year’s census. Instead, they intend to use other “administrative” means to find this data.
This is good news for now as the census numbers are used to determine federal dollar amounts from everything from Pell Grants to food stamps.
More broadly, however, there are still concerns regarding redistricting. The US Supreme Court has routinely ruled that states are allowed to use total population when drawing districts, but it hasn’t explicitly said that they have to.
The census doesn’t determine who is allowed to vote, but it does determine how the votes count. If the census were able to capture how many citizens lived in each state rather than total people, it could encourage states to draw congressional maps based on the number of its citizens.
According to CNN, “The Census Bureau has said it can collect citizenship records from the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the State Department and US Citizenship and Immigration Services. This is something the Census Bureau does regularly for other sets of data, such as economic surveys. Officials are also prepared to use this process in 2020 to tally people who do not respond to the census questionnaire and are not available when employees perform follow-up visits.”
We’ll continue to follow this important issue and update our readers when there are major updates such as this.