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Citizenship question to be included on 2020 census

Posted at 8:45 PM, Apr 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-02 13:17:22-04

The Commerce Department is adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census that has not appeared on the census since the 1950s.  It’s a move that’s already got many people worried about an undercount of people living in the U.S.

“We already have a problem with people of color and minorities participating in the census,” Cristian Solano-Córdova of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition told Anne Trujillo on this weekend’s Politics Unplugged. “I don’t know what the objective of the administration is, but the end goal -- or the end result -- will be diminished representation especially in communities of color which are already underrepresented in our political system.”

Dr. Seth Masket of the University of Denver’s Center on American Politics say the questions could be intimidating to not only those who are undocumented, but those who are citizens or in the country legally but living with those who are not.

“What the Constitution requires is for the census to conduct what it calls an actual enumeration.  It tries to count all the people not just citizens,” Masket said. “If you’re including a question ‘are you a citizen’ -- that is intimidating to many people.  And it will encourage some people not to answer the question to try and avoid the census and as a result you’re going to get an undercount.”

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30am & 4pm on Denver.