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DOJ still pushing for citizenship question

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/08/19, 12:49 pm

WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice is expected to file court papers on Monday introducing a new team of lawyers that will take over the campaign to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 U.S. census. The Justice Department announced the personnel shake-up on Sunday but did not give specifics about the reason for the change. The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked the inclusion of the question late last month.

The federal government has already started to print census questionnaires without the citizenship question, but President Donald Trump said late last week he would consider an executive order to make sure the question is included. Though it appeared early last week that the administration would back down, Justice Department lawyers on Friday told a federal judge in Maryland that they would not give up the fight. The American Civil Liberties Union said Friday it would ask a U.S. District Court in New York to permanently block the Trump administration from asking about citizenship on the census.

The Justice Department has argued that the question would help enforce the Voting Rights Act by increasing minority access to the ballot box, but critics say its inclusion would discourage immigrants from participating in the census.

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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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  • Leeper
    Posted: Mon, 07/08/2019 04:08 pm

    I am glad the administration is pursuing the question. It is a reasonable  question and the number or US representative's  for each state  allocated based on the census. Representative should only represent legal citizens.

  • Hannah
    Posted: Tue, 07/09/2019 11:13 am

    Unfortunately, this would require a constitutional amendment.  All residents, citizen and non-citizen, are counted in the census and this count is used to determine representation in Congress.  Remember the infamous three-fifths clause?  The South wanted to count slaves as "whole persons" for the purpose of the census, in order to bolster their representation in Congress.  Many in the North did not want slaves to count at all in the census.  The compromise was that slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a "whole person."  Slaves at this point were not considered citizens. The 3/5 clause was abolished when slavery was ended by the 13th Amendment.  We still count everyone in the census for the purposes of representation regardless of citizenship status. This is another legacy of our natonal "original sin" of slavery.    

  • HAMwithWry
    Posted: Mon, 07/08/2019 04:51 pm

    Picture caption: June 27?

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Tue, 07/09/2019 09:12 am

    Thank you for pointing out the error. We have corrected it.

  • news2me
    Posted: Mon, 07/08/2019 05:01 pm

    If that woman is asking for a "fair and accurate" census then she must be FOR the scarey question: "American Citizen"?

    I don't think people who are illegal will fill the questionaire out anyway. 

  • WORLD User 253263
    Posted: Mon, 07/08/2019 05:21 pm

    I cannot possibly imagine why this question is so "scary"! It is the citizens of this country who should determine who gets elected to office and what laws should be passed and how government funds are used. Therefore, it is a good idea to see how many people out there are actual citizens of the US!

  • John
    Posted: Mon, 07/08/2019 07:04 pm

    Some of the comments here seem to assume that this question would determine how many illegal immigrants there are.  If I understand the question correctly, it would ask whether the persons counted are citizens. It would not be asking about legal/illegal immigration status.  It is NOT illegal to not be a citizen. The only constitutional purpose of the census is to determine representation. Anything more than getting a head count is superfluous and none of the government's business.