The Supreme Court came to a decision Thursday to block the Trump Administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census.
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 against the changes, stating that the administration did not have a sufficient reason for the Commerce Department to include the question, which would have been: “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”
In response, President Trump tweeted that it was “totally ridiculous” that the government could not ask such a question. He went on to say that he would try to delay the census if the Supreme Court did not reconsider.
U.S. Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) released a statement Thursday following the court’s decision.
“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the inclusion of an unnecessary citizenship question in the 2020 Census,” he said. “The Administration’s rationale for adding the question is inadequate and based on politics over sound policy.”
Opponents of the proposition claim that the question could deter immigrants in particular, who might be worried their data might be shared with law enforcement or government agencies, from participating in the Census. It could also lead to a major undercount, The Census Bureau said.
Santa Cruz County Census 2020 workers and organizations have been on high-alert, trying to spread information about and encourage people to participate in the Census. Census figures have an impact on everything from housing to education.
“We are cautiously optimistic by the ruling of the Supreme Court to not include the citizenship question on the Census, as we believe this will help our community reach a more complete count,” said Watsonville City Manager Matt Huffaker. “We will continue our outreach efforts to the community so everyone knows that the Census is safe, easy and important. In Watsonville, everyone counts.”
While the proposed addition has been blocked for now, the administration has a chance to push it past the Supreme Court before Census forms are officially sent out.