Advocates Fear Trump’s 2020 Census Changes Will Lead To People Of Color Being Undercounted
President Trump's plan to ask about citizenship is one of the many ways resources could be shifted to rural, white communities.
Civil Rights advocates are concerned minority communities will be underrepresented by the Trump administration in the upcoming 2020 census. Advocates are fearful resources will be given to rural, white, Republican communities instead.
“It’s one of those issues often the least sexy, least discussed in certain corners, and yet the ramifications for communities of color and vulnerable communities are so high in terms of what’s at stake for economic power and political power,” said Vanita Gupta, director of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, to Mother Jones.
Budget cuts that forced the census bureau to cancel field testing, along with the resignation of the bureau's director — with no replacement or deputy director in place — are more areas of concern. As well, this will be the first census to do away with paper responses, opting instead to go digital.
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“They’re putting together the census under a pall of uncertainty,” said Kenneth Prewitt, director of the 2000 census, to Mother Jones. “How much money, who’s going to be in charge, what are we going to do on the core questionnaire itself? To do that under such a level of uncertainty is literally unprecedented.”
The digital process will itself be different as postcards will be mailed with instructions on how to fill out the online form. If not done, however, field workers will be sent out with tablets to gather responses.
But even with an unfamiliar system, no field test, and no director to hold responsible, numbers released by the Census Bureau show 200,000 fewer field workers for the 2020 Census as it did in 2010.
Then there is the aspect of immigration as the Trump administration plans to ask census takers about their citizenship status — despite a legal battle against the measure.
Advocates and many riled by the subject around the nation, are fighting to make sure poor, minority communities are fairly counted.
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