Washington, D.C. — Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would add a question regarding U.S. citizenship to the 2020 census.
The decennial census is meant to ensure that every person is seen, counted, and valued. The addition of a citizenship question to the upcoming census is yet another means for the Trump administration to carry out its anti-immigrant, xenophobic agenda. A failure to comply with the U.S. Constitution and gather an accurate count of all persons living in the United States jeopardizes fair representation and adequate resources to our communities across the country.
The census is a collective tool that ensures that local school districts know how many children will participate in the public school system, that business owners can make sound data-driven decisions, and that district maps are drawn in ways that ensure fair representation. It’s utterly dishonest that an administration that has been nothing but hostile to voting rights protections—including the creation of a now-disbanded “voter fraud” commission—is using enforcement of the Voting Rights Act as justification for including a citizenship question. The Trump administration continues to remind the American people: Facts don’t matter, and politics are more important than people.
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