A breach of the public trust

March 29, 2018

Late Monday night, the Trump administration leveled another attack on voting rights and our immigrant communities by announcing its intention to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census. Make no mistake, this goes beyond a continuation of Trump’s hateful, anti-immigrant agenda. This inclusion could drastically change the integrity of the Census and the makeup of our political system.

By including a question on citizenship status, immigrant communities will be less likely to respond to the survey – something a Census Bureau study highlighted in late 2017. Immigrant and minority communities are already underrepresented in the Census. We should be doing more to address this problem, not making it worse. Yet politics and fear mongering, not governing, won the day. Not only would a citizenship question jeopardize the accuracy of redrawing political boundaries at all levels of government, it would skew the apportionment of billions of dollars in federal funding, and push immigrant communities deeper into the shadows.

Congress must act to reverse this decision. I’ve joined my colleagues in introducing legislation to prohibit any questions on citizenship status from appearing on the Census and to require advance notice to Congress before adjustments to any Census questions are made.

Our government shouldn’t be in the business of instilling fear and reducing civic participation. We’re going to hold this administration accountable and do all we can to ensure a full, fair, and accurate Census.


Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress