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Greenwald Measure Opposing Citizenship Question on Census 2020 Advances in the Assembly

(TRENTON) – An Assembly Concurrent Resolution sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington) to oppose the inclusion of citizenship question in 2020 census and urge New Jersey Congressional Delegation to reject any measure directing the Census Bureau to include the question was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

“I am appalled by the Trump administration’s decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census,” said Greenwald. “This anti-immigrant policy will have a detrimental effect on the accuracy of the decennial census count, and inspire fear within immigrant communities. We see how this fear affects communities across the nation already, when in the 2010 census nearly 1.5 million people of color were not counted.”

The measure (ACR-121) states the United States Department of Justice has asked the Census Bureau to include a question about citizenship status in the 2020 decennial census form. According to experts, including four former Census Bureau directors, a citizenship question in the decennial census would have a detrimental effect on the accuracy of the decennial census count, as privacy concerns and fear of deportation would prevent many households from completing their census form.

“Given the current administrations deportation, immigration, and naturalization policies, a citizenship question in the decennial census survey would prevent a full count of the population as required by the Constitution,” added Greenwald. “A citizenship question would be counterproductive and would yield inaccurate data for the next decade.”

Greenwald expresses in the resolution that an undercount of the total population in municipalities, counties, states, and the nation will affect the equitable allocation of nearly $700 billion per year in federal funds, the number of electoral votes in each state, the reapportionment of legislative districts, and the apportionment of seats in the United States House of Representatives.

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that members of the House of Representatives “shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state.”

The resolution was approved by the Assembly State and Local Committee. The bill is now in the position to be considered for a vote by the full Assembly.