Trial begins on challenge to census citizenship question


A seven-day trial began Monday before a federal judge in San Francisco on a challenge to the U.S. Commerce Department's plan to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg will decide the case without a jury.

He is presiding over two lawsuits, one filed by the state of California, later joined by Oakland, Fremont and four other cities and counties, and a second suit filed by San Jose and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

The cases are among several filed against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in federal courts around the nation.

A lawsuit filed by more than 30 states, cities and counties led by the state of New York went to trial before a federal judge in New York City in November and is now awaiting a decision from that judge. San Francisco and Monterey County joined that lawsuit.

Another lawsuit filed by individual residents of Maryland, Arizona and California will go to trial before a U.S. judge in Baltimore on Jan. 22.

The census question would ask people whether they or members of their household are citizens.

The states and cities that sued claim the use of the question violates the U.S. Constitution's requirement of an "actual enumeration" of the population every 10 years because non-citizen immigrants will be deterred from participating in the census.

They say the reduced participation will unfairly result in decreased federal funding and congressional representation, which are based on the census information.

The Justice Department, defending Ross and the Commerce Department, contends the question is reasonable and answers will be subject to strict confidentiality requirements.

The first witness before Seeborg today was University of Chicago public policy professor Colm O'Muircheartaigh, an expert on survey methodology.

He cited a number of studies that he said show that non-citizens asked to answer a citizenship question feel that "this is a threatening activity" and may refuse to participate in the census.

One study showed that people responding to the census on behalf of a household may decide not to mention other household members who are non-citizens, he told the judge.

"This is very disturbing, because the census depends on getting a full response from the household," the professor said.

— Bay City News Service

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388 people like this
Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 9, 2019 at 5:40 pm

psr is a registered user.

This question should absolutely be included in the census. It was part of past censuses and is perhaps more import now than ever.

The federal government should not be taxed with providing services to those who are not legally residing in this country. The census should be about providing services to citizens, not those who choose to ignore our laws and take advantage of those who follow the rules.

It is unjust to require citizens to pay for the maintenance of those who are breaking the law. Tax money is supposed to support Americans, not law-breakers, yet we allow schools to be overcrowded because we don't require students to be citizens, we allow criminals to roam the streets and victimize both citizens and others because we refuse to allow federal authorities to remove them when they are found and we have new "leadership" that wants to provide free healthcare to thousands of illegal aliens, all paid for by citizens and legal residents who pay taxes. In effect, they are made to work to serve those who don't support themselves or follow the law. How is that, in any way, just?

It is an outrage to force those who do what they are supposed to do to pay millions so that politicians can give benefits to those who have no legal right to be here.

There are millions of illegal aliens in the population according to all the estimates. It is not part of the job of US government to represent even one of these people. Their job is to represent citizens and do what is best for them. If states or cities want to play host to those who break federal law, then they should convince the people within their jurisdiction to pay for those expenses. Jurisdictions who choose to put citizens first should not have to pay the costs of the poor decisions of others.

In short, if any city, county or state refuses to follow and enforce the laws we have to protect citizens, they should bear the cost of that decision. Using the census to wrangle more funding and more political representation is deeply unfair to legal residents and disenfranchises them without their consent. Montana and Wyoming shouldn't have to pay for foolish decisions made in New York and California. Funding and representation are for citizens, not law-breakers.

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Posted by LOL
a resident of Castro City
on Jan 9, 2019 at 6:32 pm

[Post removed due to poster being banned for repeated violations of terms of use/trolling]

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