(Editor’s Note: U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) led a bicameral group of over 120 current and former members of Congress on an amicus brief to support a lawsuit filed by the State of New York to stop the addition of a divisive untested citizenship question to the 2020 Census.)
Stop the Trump Administration from Including Untested Citizenship
Questions in Census
by Senator Brian SCHATZ
The amicus brief, filed on Friday, argues that Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment make clear that the census is intended to count all people residing in the United States, both citizen and non-citizen alike. Further, while the Secretary of Commerce has the authority to determine the “Manner” of taking the census, he also has a constitutional duty to count all persons.
The addition of this question is flat-out unconstitutional. The Trump Administration is trying to turn the nonpartisan, constitutionally mandated census into a political tool to discourage participation, manipulate congressional representation, and promote an extreme, anti-immigrant agenda. It must be stopped.
Following Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ proposal of a citizenship question in March, I introduced the 2020 Census Improving Data and Enhanced Accuracy (IDEA) Act. The bicameral legislation would protect the accuracy of the 2020 Census and ensure any proposed changes to the count are properly studied, researched, and tested.