San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro Calls Census Citizenship Question ‘an Act of Political Intimidation’

WASHINGTON -- The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to justify his agency’s controversial decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census, a move members say would result in an inaccurate population count.In a press conference Wednesday, San Antonio Rep. Joaquin Castro, first vice president of the caucus, accused the Trump Administration of including the question in order to intimidate immigrants living in the country illegally from participating in the census.Now, the group’s members say they are formally requesting a meeting with Ross and want assurances that the addition of the question is not politically motivated.“The Census is a cornerstone of our democracy and we firmly believe the recent actions by the Department will have immense repercussions,” the letter said. “We request that you meet with us to discuss this issue further and ensure a full and inclusive account of our population."Castro said he’s concerned that the question would intimidate undocumented immigrants and lead them to not participate, skewing results. The Trump administration announced last month that it would add the controversial question to the census, which takes place every 10 years.“This question, especially from this administration, which has been so hostile to immigrants, and also in many ways the Latino community, is meant as an act of political intimidation,” Castro said. “This will make it much less likely that we’ll get full and complete answers from so many people.”The population count, taken by mail and by workers going door to door, is required by the Constitution and includes citizens and non-citizens. It's used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as how federal funds are distributed to local communities. In turn, it helps those communities determine where to build everything from schools and grocery stores to hospitals.  Continue reading...

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