With Census Citizenship Question, Trump Administration Risks Shortchanging Red States

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Monday evening that the 2020 census will include a question about citizenship, and red states whose immigrant populations have increased could lose out because of it.

Of the 10 states with the greatest percentage increases in immigrant population from 2010 to 2016, eight went for Trump in the 2016 election. The top 10 are North Dakota, West Virginia, South Dakota, Delaware, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Indiana.

Because the census determines the allocation of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as billions of dollars in federal funds, the decision could impact millions of Americans who voted for President Trump.

The question likely will result in an undercount of people of color, including immigrant families who may be reluctant to share their citizenship status with the federal government. Such an undercount would shortchange everyone in their communities, and towns, cities and states with the largest increases in immigrant populations – the majority of which supported Trump in the 2016 election – could feel the brunt of these effects.

“Many conservative-leaning communities rely on and value the immigrants who have become vital to their local economy and neighborhoods,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “If some of their immigrant residents aren’t counted, these communities will be underrepresented and underfunded.

“Those who stand to lose the most from this decision are citizens who voted for Trump. In his efforts to hurt California, President Trump will actually hurt Nebraska.”


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