Time for Action:
Object to Citizenship Question 
Being Added to 2020 Census
March 28, 2018

         FROM:  
Bonnie Cox, President
Hilary Denk and Heather Cunningham, Issues Co-Chairs
Kim Reed, LWVIL Issue Specialist, Immigration
 
ACTION NEEDED: 
Call or visit your US Representative now during their recess and request that he/she object to a citizenship question being added to the 2020 Census. Find your legislators at https://www.house.gov/representatives or call 888-908-6307.

Background:
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently announced that there will be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The League of Women Voters vehemently opposes this measure, claiming that it will result in an undercount of those living in the United States and will jeopardize fair redistricting and the determination of the allocation of resources. Additionally, the call for a citizenship question is anti-immigrant in nature and will further instill fear, preventing immigrants from participating fully in the count. 

The US Census, mandated by the Constitution, takes place every 10 years and counts every person living in the United States. The information it collects is used for redistricting and to allocate federal funds to local communities. A citizenship question has not been asked since 1950.

Talking Points as to why there should not be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census:
  • Undermines an accurate count: Including a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census will damage the chances for an accurate count of our country's population.
  • Change is a betrayal: This change to the way we count the number people living in the United States is a betrayal of the idea that in America, where every person counts.
  • Misleading motive for the change: This decision isn't about improving demographic data on citizenship to fulfill the Voting Rights Act. It's designed to frighten immigrants-citizens and non-citizens alike-so they won't participate in the Census. It's a blatant political maneuver meant to disenfranchise these groups and deny them equal representation.
  • Undermines the rights of eligible voters and threatens democracy: Including this question on the Census undermines the rights of eligible voters and threatens a process vital to our democracy.
  • Jeopardizes the allocation of important resources: A fair and accurate Census is essential to the way the federal government allocates resources for infrastructure, education, and transportation. Census data is critical when determining resources for fire, water and trash collection.
  • The Constitution mandates an accurate count of ALL people: The United States Constitution mandates an accurate count of all people living in the United States - not all citizens. Non-citizens are an integral part of our economy and need to be included in the 2020 Census to paint a complete picture of our great country.
To read LWVUS President Chris Carson's full response, " Census Citizenship Question Will Result in Inaccurate Count," go to:  https://www.lwv.org/newsroom/press-releases/census-citizenship-question-will-result-inaccurate-count 
League of Women Voters of Illinois
332 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 634, Chicago, IL  60604
Phone: (312) 939-5935  | Email:  issues@lwvil.org  | website:  www.lwvil.org
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