News

New emails reveal a central political motivation for changing the census

When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross instructed the Census Bureau earlier this year to include a question on the decennial census about the citizenship of residents, he offered a specific rationale. Having data on citizenship, he wrote, would allow the government to better enforce the Voting Rights Act, Civil-Rights-era legislation meant to protect voting from discriminatory policies. Continue reading

Why Was a Citizenship Question Put on the Census? ‘Bad Faith,’ a Judge Suggests
News

Why Was a Citizenship Question Put on the Census? ‘Bad Faith,’ a Judge Suggests

Now a federal lawsuit seeking to block the question has cast doubt on the department’s explanation and the veracity of the man who offered it, Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. And it has given the plaintiffs in the suit — attorneys general for 17 states, the District of Columbia and a host of cities and counties — broad leeway to search for evidence that the critics are correct. Continue reading

Trump Is Fundraising Off a Question That Would Scare Immigrants Away From the Census
News

Trump Is Fundraising Off a Question That Would Scare Immigrants Away From the Census

The Justice Department is pushing for the 2020 census to include a citizenship question for the first time since 1950, a move civil rights groups say would “sabotage” the census and make immigrants afraid to respond. The Commerce Department, which oversees the census, has until March 31 to decide whether to approve the question, but President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has just come out strongly in favor—and it’s already using the issue to raise money and score political points. Continue reading