Xavier Becerra

Sabotaged Census: Citizenship question guarantees undercount

Sabotaged Census: Citizenship question guarantees undercount

For more than six decades, the U.S. Census has gotten along very well without asking everyone living in this country to explain their immigration status. Why not ask? For one big reason: People who are undocumented would be naturally reluctant to respond. They would simply avoid the census — as is every American’s right, incidentally — for fear that the next knock on their door wouldn’t be a census taker, it would be a federal immigration agent.

This pre-1950s approach to the census would, of course, lead to an undercount of the “actual Enumeration” required by the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 2 and the consequences would be far more serious than any brief discomfort of...

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