Mon 9/17: Last minute action! – Stop the census citizenship question. Comment Deadline Today, 9/17, at 11:59 EST!

Action – Remove the discriminatory citizenship question from 2020 U.S. Census! – Deadline, Today, Monday 9/17, 11:59 pm EST

“The Supreme Court in 2016 ruled unanimously that “representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote,” and the Constitution makes clear that the census has a clear purpose: to count all U.S. residents, regardless of background, as the basis for the apportionment of political power. The Census Bureau spent most of this decade responding to this mandate, leading painstaking research, technology development and question testing. With their belated interference, Trump and Sessions are upending this meticulous preparation.

The harm from this decision, if it’s not reversed, will be expensive and long- ­lasting.” (wapo)

How to comment on this census scam:

  •  Click here to comment. Write, submit, you’re done.
  • If you’re interested in reading the administration’s nonsense explanation of this whole scam, click here.
  • To see all the questions proposed for the 2020 census, go here.
  • If you need more inspiration for your comments, go here. Find one you like, shape it into sounding like you. Samples are the bottom of this post.
  • There are already a number of commenters who LOVE the citizenship question. Don’t let their comments outnumber ours!

Background

Why is this census so important?: It’s critical that the U.S. Census gets an accurate headcount of everyone in the United States. The population counts are used to determine:

  • how to allocate billions of tax dollars (hospitals, public schools, public services, etc.)
  • how many U.S. representatives in Congress a state should have.
  • Every state is allocated a number of electoral votes based to the number of senators and representatives in its U.S. Congressional delegation—two votes for its senators in the U.S. Senate plus one for each of its members in the U. S. House of Representatives. Right now, CA has the largest number at 55.

 

What is the administration doing? They are trying to sabotage the count by adding a discriminatory question related to citizenship, with the goal of discouraging participation and threatening the accuracy of the count. There is currently a lawsuit, filed by 17 states, DC, cities and counties against the Commerce Department for action in ‘bad faith‘ by adding the question for partisan purposes and without regard to the federal government’s scientific standards or the consequences for the accuracy and quality of census data.

Here’s an example of the 2000 long form census which includes a citizenship question.

Even this conservative commenter doesn’t think that deliberately skewing census data is good for business and messes with the Constitution.

But if the 2020 census form does ultimately ask about citizenship status, it will be the first time the question will be asked of all U.S. households since 1950.

What happens if the count is low? If the Census will undercounts our immigrant population, states with large immigrant or minority populations will lose federal funds and could easily lose congressional seats in the U.S. House. This is a sneaky attempt to transfer political power and money from big, (often blue), states to small, rural, (often red) states.

Can’t people just mark in “No Comment”?: Not only is “No Comment” NOT an option, but leaving questions blank will inspire the government to search through other records to fill in missing responses. An although it is currently illegal to share a person’s census responses with law enforcement or immigration agencies, no one believes that the Trump administration will honor such an arbitrary and easily broken barrier.

We can stop this! Whenever a new regulation is proposed by the government, they must solicit public comments which MUST be reviewed before a rule can go into effect. The Commerce Department is now soliciting comments about the addition of the citizenship question on the Census. The comments must be received before midnight (Eastern Time) on today, Monday, 9/17th.

Sample comments:

It’s important for your comment not to look like a form letter. Either come up with your own wording or mix up the wording of a sample to sound more like you. Comments can range from one sentence to attached letters.

Sample comment: The citizenship question should be eliminated.in today’s hyper-critical and alarming environment toward non-citizens, legally present non-citizens may fear retribution. ICE has not endeared itself to many in this country, including folks here legally.

Sample comment: I oppose the attempt to include a citizenship question on the 2020 US Census forms. The Constitution dictates that the census count all “persons” and does not use the term “citizens”. The question is invasive and intrusive and, given the increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric, will deter people from participating fully and will lead to an inaccurate count, which in turn will have a negative impact on a host of federal as well as private sector programs. I respectfully respect that the Census Bureau not include this question.

Sample comment: I request that the Census Bureau remove the proposed citizenship question from the 2020 Census. It is unnecessary, discriminatory, and will lead to an undercount that will significantly compromise the Bureau’s ability to accurately count all “persons” within the U.S.

Sample comment: I strongly urge the Commerce Department to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census form. Including an untested, controversial question will undermine the quality and accuracy of the census in every community. The Census Bureau’s own Chief Scientist warned of lower response, higher costs, and a less accurate Census if the citizenship question is included. Including a citizenship question puts the census at grave risk of a significant undercount, especially among hard-to-reach population groups that already are fearful of answering government surveys, according to the Bureau’s own research. The public should not be asked to answer, or pay for, a Census that does not meet scientifically sound standards, in order to achieve partisan, political goals. The addition of this question is a blatant attempt to undermine the 2020 Census – this decision is bad for the census, bad for our communities, and bad for America.

The census has been fine for the last 100 years. Why muck with it? Because this administration wants the country to go back to being white only (which it never was). Our diversity is our strength. Dont make people of color afraid to participate in one of our most basic functions of government. Diversity is our strength.

Sample comment:  Why including a question about citizenship is wrong and if this question remains, it will harm the results of the Census:
The Constitution says to count all persons not all citizens.
The Commerce Secretary made a wrong decision to include this question in the Census.
This unnecessary citizenship question is invasive and will raise concerns about the confidentiality of personal information.
This intrusive question will cause participation in the Census to plummet.
This question is a political move designed to frighten immigrants into not participating in the Census.
The cost of adding an untested question this late in the process is significant to taxpayers.
Why it is critical to get the 2020 Census right:
Getting an accurate count in the 2020 Census is critical to all American communities.
Millions of people including community groups, local officials and business entrepreneurs rely on the Census to provide accurate, comprehensive data about our nation that impacts us all:
Census data is the basis for fair political representation and this data is used to draw district lines reflective of the population.
Community leaders use Census data to allocate resources including public safety planning and disaster response, education needs, hospitals, assistance for veterans and transportation.
Business leaders use Census data to make investment decisions that boost economic growth.
We only get one chance every ten years to get this right. The Census must be done fairly and accurately.
We will fight to fix this decision and remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census:
This is not a partisan issue. There is bipartisan opposition to adding the citizenship question, including 61 members of Congress; more than 160 Democratic and Republican mayors; six former Census directors who served in Republican and Democratic administrations; 19 attorneys general; the statistical community; and several dozen business leaders from across the country.
We call on Congress to reverse this decision and remove the citizenship question from the Census. The stakes are too high to allow this question to derail the count.
It is up to Congress to exercise oversight and appropriations authority over the Census Bureau.
We will join forces with business leaders, elected officials of all parties as well as grassroots leaders and civic activists to defend our Census.
We call on our mayors, our city council members and local officials to speak out about this issue and tell Congress they must take action to fix this error in judgment.
State officials are already acting. The state of California has filed a lawsuit and the state of New York plans to lead a multistate legal effort in opposition of the untested citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

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