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The Constitution requires that every person living in the U.S. be counted every ten years, regardless of legal status. The official count of citizens and noncitizens alike is used to draw voting districts for Congressional, state, and local representatives, as well as distribute government funds for our schools, roads, hospitals, natural disasters, and more.
An inaccurate census count would undermine the integrity of a wide variety of economic data and statistics that businesses, researchers, and policymakers depend upon, negatively impact undermine democracy, and more.
“Former census directors representing both Republican and Democratic administrations, 60 members of Congress, 161 Republican and Democratic mayors, 19 state attorneys general, more than 170 civil rights organizations, and prominent business leaders” have all objected to the census citizenship question, yet others have wondered what the big deal is. Census data is supposed to be private, and Title 13 of the U.S. Code says private information cannot be published or used against respondents by a government agency or court.
However, the Census Bureau has misused census data before, at least twice, violating its own policy strictly prohibiting the sharing of information:
These examples are why Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) office at the New York University School of Law, told Rewire that individual information should be protected above all else.
As Michael Fix, Senior Fellow and former president of the MPI, said:
If everyone is afraid, the census becomes a less accurate instrument and the less we know about communities, the worse off they will be because of how federal funds will be allocated and distributed.
A Census Question About Citizenship Should Worry You, No Matter Your Immigration Stance, by Juan Escalante (Huffington Post)