A question regarding citizenship that was introduced to the census form March of this year has come up for debate now that Democrats have control of the House of Representatives after the recent elections. According to U.S. News & World Report, the inclusion of the question was originally thought to stem from an attempt at voter suppression, and as a result many called for it to be investigated before it was included.
With the control of the House, Democrats now want the 2020 census form revamped to exclude the question. Along with a bill that would be used for funding if the census form needed to be revised, 18 states have already sued with the hopes that the question is removed. Claims have been made that immigrants are less likely to fill out a census when questions regarding citizenship are present, which will impact their communities politically.
The question was originally introduced under the auspice of combatting voter discrimination, but many claim that the real goal is politically motivated. Officials claim that the new census will cause voter suppression in chiefly democratic parts of the country, which could impact the outcome of elections.
Lawmakers are also concerned about whether census data will be shared between agencies. Because of these fears, Democrats are shining a light on the U.S. Census Bureau’s ability to protect information, which will be primarily collected online for the first time since the census was created. Other methods of blocking the question are also being considered, such as by passing bills that prohibit funding as long as the citizenship question still appears on the census.