Even after a series of legal defeats that forced President Trump to end his persecution of a citizenship issue at the 2020 census, nearly a quarter of a million households continued to receive questionnaires asking the controversial question, "Is that? Person a citizen of the United States?
The form, which is part of the Census Bureau Census Test 2019, was designed to measure the impact of a citizenship issue on respondents to the survey. The office announced the test in mid-June and began sending questionnaires shortly afterward – just two weeks before the Supreme Court interrupted the administration's efforts and stated that it had provided a "fake" reason for requesting information.
But have a Citizenship Question The test questionnaire included in the ten-year count would have provided the office with last-minute information on how the public could respond. Instead, households across the country are receiving the forms after a dizzying, week-long legal and political back and forth in which Trump got involved with the courts before finally resigning.
"This is another example of how the president's zealous efforts to add the citizenship issue continue to cause confusion over the upcoming census," said Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former employee of the Subcommittee on Census Supervision. "The consequences are persistent confusion and a prolonged climate of anxiety – especially in immigrant communities."
Officials randomly assigned around 480,000 households one of two versions of the test, one with the citizenship question and one without. For example, if fewer people had responded to the citizenship issue, the bureau could have employed more census staff to personally monitor the households.
The bureau's website states that the test "will support the goal of the 2020 census, where everyone is counted once, only once and in the right place. "This will help to fine-tune the planning for the real thing. And because the test is part of the preparation for the ten-year count, the recipients must by law answer all their questions.
However, since the administration has not answered the proposed question, it is unclear what the federal government will do with the data it accumulates from this test. A spokesman for the Census Bureau did not respond to requests for comments on Monday night.
This insecurity scares Robin Lyn Brown.
The retiree from Fort Lauderdale was among the Chosen who received a test form, and she said she was shocked when she saw the last question, asking her if she was a US citizen.
"It just feels like a scare tactic," Brown, 68, said in an interview. "It reminds me of 1984." Big Brother is watching and somewhere they're putting together a database of people answering. Brown questioned Trump's motivation to ask about the status of citizenship in the census, which, according to critics of the president, is part of an effort to systematically subordinate Latinos and deter immigrant communities from participating in a poll involving the identification of congressional districts and facilitates the payment of some federal funds.
"The first thing I thought about was that President Trump had something to do with it," Brown said. who identifies himself as a democrat. "This government is very fear-based."
Lowenthal said the bureau could have waited for the Supreme Court's expected ruling before sending the test forms, but the officials refused. However, the test, which will last until August, is historically already carried out late.
"The simple fact that this grand test is conducted six months before the start of the census high season is unprecedented," Lowenthal said.
"If the administration wanted to pursue the addition of citizenship," she said, "this is symptomatic of the government's approach during 19-month Citizenship Question Time, led by Trade Minister Wilbur Ross." In the above question, the secretary of commerce would have notified this immediately after assuming office to give the office sufficient time for at least some tests, said Lowenthal. Englisch: www.socialistgroup.eu/gpes/sessiond…01&place=STR "Instead, the administration had something to hide, and the Commerce Minister retained the decision to make the issue inaccessible to the public for a year."
A confused audience is the last thing the bureau needs in the coming months 2020 poll, she said, but Brown – and the thousands of test takers like her – could see this last question and make her own: "When I see something like this, I ask, what is the purpose?"
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