The Census Bureau will not include a controversial question about citizenship in the printed questionnaire for the 2020 census, prompting cheers of relief from California political leaders.
“This is a victory for Californians and for our democracy and a defeat for the Trump administration’s relentless attack on our immigrant communities,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “California has refused to stand by and let this administration succeed in its attempt to undermine our census count.”
“This is a profound and moving victory for all Californians and Americans,” said Senate President Toni Atkins. “We now know that the idea of adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census was a cynical and partisan ploy to intimidate and silence the voices of millions of Americans.”
Plantiffs in the lawsuit against the Trump administration’s efforts to add the question were notified of the decision by a Department of Justice lawyer.
“We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process,“ the DOJ attorney wrote.
States with large numbers of immigrants were worried that including the question could scare some people and lead to an undercount that would reduce their Congressional seats. California and Texas were considered especially vulnerable.
“One thing remains clear, we must ensure an adequate and complete count of all our residents so that we can deliver services they rightfully deserve and ensure their participation in our democracy,” said Atkins, who represents the San Diego area.
Trump had suggested delaying the census after the Supreme Court refused to allow the question to be added without further explanation of the rationale by Census Bureau officials. However, the Census Bureau then said there wasn’t time to wait for a final decision on the citizenship question and still begin the census on April 1.
The Constitution requires all residents of the United States to be counted every 10 years, where or not they are citizens.
Updated at 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, July 2, 2019