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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

Skyrocketing citizenship backlog — politics at play?
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Skyrocketing citizenship backlog — politics at play?

In 1952, at the height of McCarthyism, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld legislation that rendered deportable former members of the Communist Party. The plaintiffs at the center of the case, Peter Harisiades, Luigi Mascitti and Dora Coleman, had lived as lawful permanent residents in the United States for over 30 years, and they challenged on due process and other grounds the notion that they could be kicked out of the United States on their political allegiance alone. Continue reading

A New Citizen Decides to Leave the Tumult of Trump’s America
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A New Citizen Decides to Leave the Tumult of Trump’s America

I have been thinking lately about a letter that I received from President Barack Obama in the fall of 2011. In it, he offered me his congratulations and praised my determination, in terms that were deeply gratifying, if a little over the top—he told me that I “represent the promise of the American Dream.” Of course, it wasn’t a personal letter; the signature at the bottom was a facsimile. Continue reading