DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - According to a new survey, nearly two-thirds of Americans want citizenship status to be on the 2020 census.
A new Rasmussen poll finds that 64% of Americans want the 2020 census to ask a person's citizenship, a question that had been taken off the census after 1950 but added by the Trump administration in December 2017.
Despite the fact the citizenship question has been on nearly all census questionnaires in some form or other between 1820 and 2000, the question was immediately opposed by Democrats and immigrant activists — including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The Lepanto Institute's Michael Hichborn told Church Militant, "There is a strong possibility that an ulterior motive is driving this," adding, "It seems the bishops are hoping to prevent a question of 'citizenship status,' even to the point of claiming that such is 'harmful' to immigrants, because they fear that those identifying as 'non-citizens' would face deportation as illegals."
The USCCB administers over $2 billion per year in federal aid to immigrant-linked social programs.
Bishop Joe Vásquez, chairman of the Committee on Migration, commented on behalf of the USCCB, "Proposed questions regarding immigration status will obstruct accurate Census estimates and ultimately harm immigrant families and the communities they live in. Our society, rooted in the strength of the family, cannot risk missing this opportunity to give children and parents the tools they need to succeed."
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 it was constitutional for the U.S. Department of Commerce to include the citizenship question, but a subsequent ruling determined the department's reason for including the question needed to be remanded to a lower court. The fact that census documents will be printed before the courts can make a new ruling effectively removes the question from the upcoming census.
The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution with the purpose of generating statistical data as the basis for government decisions, including the apportionment of congressional seats, the allocation of federal funds and the enforcement of voting rights laws.