The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt in 2019 to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The White House now takes a different approach, asking states for drivers’ license information, including birth dates, addresses, race, Hispanic origin, and citizenship status. There was also a request for lists of those who signed up for state-run public programs like food assistance, which is already shared for statistical purposes after it removes personal information.
Civil rights advocates Census officials have cried foul over this records request. Even though this information does not explicitly detail citizenship information, it was prompted by the president’s executive order. Civil rights advocates believe this is a violation of privacy and enables the government to use the information, which can be wrong, to target innocent individuals. Census officials also believe that this type of personal data would skew the accuracy of the census because people would be afraid to fill it out. Finally, there is also concern by the states that shared information regarding millions of citizens, and all this data sharing would make it easy to steal or use for different purposes.
Politics and more politics
These tactics seem intent on targeting legal and illegal Latino migrants and lowering their response, but the inaccurately low numbers would also affect the electoral map, which is updated each decade to accommodate shifts in population.
Several states have already denied the request because they believe it is an invasion of privacy as well as the other reasons already outlined here. Nonetheless, those with questions or concerns regarding privacy and how it affects their work status or issues should speak with an immigration law attorney. These legal professionals can help determine the right approach to handling the census and other matters.