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senate Bill S. 201

Should the Census Not Ask About Citizenship & Count All Residents Regardless of Immigration Status?

Argument in favor

The Census plays an important role in the distribution of federal funds, social services coverage, and political representation. It’s important that it accurately reflects the American population — since there’s a chance that asking about citizenship will discourage certain populations’ participation in the Census, it shouldn’t be asked.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
05/26/2019
THAT IS WHAT THE CONSTITUTION SAYS TO DO! The "Census clause" or sometimes called the "Enumeration clause" is found in Article I, 1, § 2, cl. 3 of Constitution. After taking into account the removal and additions that have occurred with later amendments, that clause reads as follows: "Representatives . . . shall be apportioned among the several States . . . according to their respective Numbers . . . . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." Further, Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment states that "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed." The Constitution uses the word "numbers" and "persons" -- not "citizens," or "legal residents," or "those lawfully present". Everyone must be counted!
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jimK's Opinion
···
05/26/2019
The Census should not ask about citizenship- particularly in today’s environment with the current administration. Let’s use the census as intended, to track the populace. Adding the citizenship question would assure that many would not be counted at all. Given the administrations attitude toward immigrants and flagrant abuses of office, why would any immigrant answer this question? —— Effectively cutting government grants in order to “punish” sanctuary cities.
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···
05/26/2019
Duh. It’s worked for 238 years. gerrymandering, now supported by the rule of law is excepted in politics but let’s leave it out of the census.
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Argument opposed

The current citizenship count gathered by the American Community Survey (ACS) is inaccurate. Including a citizenship question in the decennial Census will improve the count’s accuracy. It’s also not a major imposition, as many non-citizens already accurately respond to the citizenship question in the ACS.

Jennifer 's Opinion
···
05/26/2019
EDIT. Below the line is my original message. Had I voted “yes,” with the double negative question you posed, I would be saying “Yes, they should not ask about immigration status.” So I answered, “no.” I just received a confirmation email that My Representatives we’re informed of this.,. “I am a voter in your state. I Oppose the legislation S. 201, "A bill to amend title 13, United States Code, to make clear that each decennial census, as required for the apportionment of Representatives in Congress among the several States, shall tabulate the total number of persons in each State, and to provide that no information regarding United States citizenship or immigration status may be elicited in any such census." This is the exact opposite of my intentions. I Am beginning to think you DELIBERATELY use double negatives for the purpose of using the vote to support how you want a vote to go. Everyone should be aware of your deceit! You’ve been admonished by many people about these double negative, and yet they continue Yep, I think it is deliberate. —————————————————- There you again with the double negative, Countable. Really does anyone check these things? Next time just ask, “Should the U.S. Census count all persons regardless of immigration status, “Yes,” or No.” Asking a yes or no question with, “Should the Census not ask...,” just confuses the issue! And the answer I am offering is, “Yes.” They should ask, or we will never get an accurate count of whether it’s 6 or 22 million people living here illegally. Also Congressional Districts and numbers should only be drawn up on a US citizen count. Period.
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···
05/26/2019
Only citizens count. Non-citizens have no standing and no rights. To think otherwise renders citizenship meaningless, and that is unacceptable and unsustainable.
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Gopin2018's Opinion
···
05/26/2019
We don’t count criminals and that’s what illegals are criminals. #MAGA
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 201?

This bill — the Every Person Counts Act — would modify provisions on population and other census information to require a tabulation of the total number of people in each state and prohibit the Census Bureau from including any question or otherwise asking about U.S. citizenship or immigration status. It’d also forbid any rule that’d permit or require the Census to exclude populations based on their age, federal employees and their dependents, and Armed Services personnel stationed abroad, or other persons outside the U.S. from being counted as residents of the states in which they usually reside.

Impact

U.S. residents; Census respondents; 2020 decennial Census; Commerce Dept.; and the Commerce Secretary.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 201

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to prohibit the Commerce Secretary from including a question about citizenship or immigration status on the U.S. Census and require each decennial census to count each state’s total population:

“There is no need to continue wasting American taxpayer dollars in costly legal battles. Congress should act now and put an end to this charade created by the Trump Administration. The U.S. census is not a tool to rally the President’s base. It is meant to be an unvarnished, accurate headcount of every single individual living each state for the purposes of allocating federal resources to address public health, education, and national security among others, and to determine Congressional apportionment. This administration’s anti-immigrant agenda should not take over a constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the country.  I will continue fight against this nonsense proposal to stoke fear and force immigrants into the shadows, and push legislation to address this urgent situation to ensure we get an accurate census.”

Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer adds that the Census is a critical tool for policymaking whose impartiality needs to be maintained:

“The point of the American Census is to methodically and scientifically count all those who are in this nation, not to purposely intimidate and scare people from participating. The stakes could not be higher for our cities and states, which rely on the Census to set the levels at which they receive vital federal aid on countless programs that help our transportation, housing, social services and infrastructure. I’m proud to support this critical legislation that will protect the U.S. Census from being subverted by the Trump administration for political purposes and make sure that everyone is counted.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination and one of this bill’s cosponsors, adds, “Adding a citizenship question to the census is nothing more than a blatant attempt to scare immigrant communities. We cannot stand for it.

Writing in The Intercept, Sam Adler-Bell argues that the citizenship question would harm young people, minorities, and urban communities:

“Beyond the politics, a citizenship question would cause real, material harm to young people, Latinos, Asians, and city-dwellers. These communities are more likely to be undercounted (even more so than they already tend to be) because they are more likely to live in households with noncitizens. A more severe census undercount in these communities will impact have a devastating impact on federal aid. Congress allocates $675 billion in annual federal funds on the basis of census data. Medicaid distributes $312 billion; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, distributes $69.5 billion; Medicare Part B distributes $64.2 billion; and Section 8 housing distributes $38.3 billion. By undercounting undocumented immigrants and sewing fear in their families, the Trump administration will redirect federal funding away from the neediest. And because the census is used to apportion congressional seats and statehouse districts, undercounted populations will be further disenfranchised and left more unable to rectify these harms. Punishing poor and brown communities in this way is not an unintended side effect of the administration’s approach to the decennial count; it’s the purpose.”

This bill’s opponents argue that the citizenship question is merely a way of finding out an important piece of information about American residents, just the as the existing questions about name, sex, race, and homeownership status do. In his memo announcing the citizenship question, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote:

“Asking the citizenship question of 100 percent of the population gives each respondent the opportunity to provide an answer. This may eliminate the need for the Census Bureau to have to impute an answer for millions of people. For the approximately 90 percent of the population who are citizens, this question is no additional imposition. And for the approximately 70 percent of non-citizens who already answer this question accurately on the ACS, the question is no additional imposition since Census responses by law may only be used anonymously and for statistical purposes.”

In a written statement, Dept. of Justice spokeswoman Kelly Laco said, argued that reinstating a citizenship question on the 2020 Census would be a “legal and reasonable decision” by the federal government. However, ACLU attorney Dale Ho argued that the evidence presented at a district court hearing on the citizenship question revealed that the Trump administration introduced the citizenship question in an effort to reduce Census participation by minorities, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations.

This bill has 19 Democratic cosponsors in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, it had 20 Democratic cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteIn March 2018, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the 2020 decennial census would ask about immigration status — the first time the Census has asked about this issue in 70 years. Immediately after the announcement, census experts and advocates condemned the move as a politically motivated effort to undermine the Census’ accuracy by discouraging immigrants and their families from participating.

From 1890 to 1950, the Census routinely asked all U.S. residents citizenship questions. In 1960, the issue of citizenship was only indirectly addressed. From 1970 to 2000, only a sample of the U.S. population was asked about citizenship. Finally, from 2000 onward, citizenship and all other “long form” questions were moved to the annual American Community Survey (ACS), which is sent to just under four million people in the U.S. each year.

New York, along with 17 other states, several cities, and civil rights groups, sued the Commerce Dept. — which oversees the Census Bureau — in order to block the proposed citizenship question. In mid-January 2019, a U.S. District Judge ordered the Trump administration to halt its plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. However, the administration is pressuring the Supreme Court to review the case and decide whether a question about citizenship can be included in the 2020 Census. In a closed-door meeting in mid-February 2019, the Court voted to fast-track review the ruling — the first time it’s done so since 2004. Arguments in the case are scheduled for the week of April 22.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / tattywelshie)

AKA

Every Person Counts Act

Official Title

A bill to amend title 13, United States Code, to make clear that each decennial census, as required for the apportionment of Representatives in Congress among the several States, shall tabulate the total number of persons in each State, and to provide that no information regarding United States citizenship or immigration status may be elicited in any such census.

    THAT IS WHAT THE CONSTITUTION SAYS TO DO! The "Census clause" or sometimes called the "Enumeration clause" is found in Article I, 1, § 2, cl. 3 of Constitution. After taking into account the removal and additions that have occurred with later amendments, that clause reads as follows: "Representatives . . . shall be apportioned among the several States . . . according to their respective Numbers . . . . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." Further, Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment states that "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed." The Constitution uses the word "numbers" and "persons" -- not "citizens," or "legal residents," or "those lawfully present". Everyone must be counted!
    Like (216)
    Follow
    Share
    EDIT. Below the line is my original message. Had I voted “yes,” with the double negative question you posed, I would be saying “Yes, they should not ask about immigration status.” So I answered, “no.” I just received a confirmation email that My Representatives we’re informed of this.,. “I am a voter in your state. I Oppose the legislation S. 201, "A bill to amend title 13, United States Code, to make clear that each decennial census, as required for the apportionment of Representatives in Congress among the several States, shall tabulate the total number of persons in each State, and to provide that no information regarding United States citizenship or immigration status may be elicited in any such census." This is the exact opposite of my intentions. I Am beginning to think you DELIBERATELY use double negatives for the purpose of using the vote to support how you want a vote to go. Everyone should be aware of your deceit! You’ve been admonished by many people about these double negative, and yet they continue Yep, I think it is deliberate. —————————————————- There you again with the double negative, Countable. Really does anyone check these things? Next time just ask, “Should the U.S. Census count all persons regardless of immigration status, “Yes,” or No.” Asking a yes or no question with, “Should the Census not ask...,” just confuses the issue! And the answer I am offering is, “Yes.” They should ask, or we will never get an accurate count of whether it’s 6 or 22 million people living here illegally. Also Congressional Districts and numbers should only be drawn up on a US citizen count. Period.
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    Only citizens count. Non-citizens have no standing and no rights. To think otherwise renders citizenship meaningless, and that is unacceptable and unsustainable.
    Like (85)
    Follow
    Share
    The Census should not ask about citizenship- particularly in today’s environment with the current administration. Let’s use the census as intended, to track the populace. Adding the citizenship question would assure that many would not be counted at all. Given the administrations attitude toward immigrants and flagrant abuses of office, why would any immigrant answer this question? —— Effectively cutting government grants in order to “punish” sanctuary cities.
    Like (63)
    Follow
    Share
    We don’t count criminals and that’s what illegals are criminals. #MAGA
    Like (62)
    Follow
    Share
    Duh. It’s worked for 238 years. gerrymandering, now supported by the rule of law is excepted in politics but let’s leave it out of the census.
    Like (45)
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    Who are our elected officials representing? American citizens or illegal foreigners? It’s hard to tell anymore.
    Like (39)
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    We draw our election maps based on the number of US citizens. We also distribute electoral college delegates according to legal US citizens in each state. And finally, we provide federal funding to each State based on legal US residents and Citizens. If we don’t know how many people in each State are there legally it directly affects our elections and federal funding. This should not be politically. But the Democrats are trying to hide the true population make up of their states because they are afraid of loosing federal money.
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    If we do this, it’ll give sanctuary states more electoral votes and congressional seats. This is a matter of election security.
    Like (30)
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    That’s the definition of census. Count all persons.
    Like (29)
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    Count everyone everywhere
    Like (28)
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    Everyone should count in the census.
    Like (20)
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    It’s not an imposition to declare your citizenship Only citizens should vote
    Like (19)
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    Asking for a person’s immigration status is not going to improve the accuracy of the census in anyway. In fact, it will reduce its accuracy since it will reduce census participation among immigrant groups leading to an inaccurate count. The point of the census is to get an accurate population count. Asking this question is only designed further the xenophobic agenda of this administration and shift political power away from areas of the country with higher levels of immigration.
    Like (19)
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    Everyone should count
    Like (18)
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    If someone is here, count them.
    Like (17)
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    That’s the point, gaining an accurate count of the population.
    Like (17)
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    Same as before. Quit wording it differently. And the answer is the same. YES.
    Like (16)
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    ABSOLUTELY!!
    Like (16)
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    Count everyone because everyone counts!
    Like (15)
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