Minneapolis City Council members ask federal government to drop new citizenship question from Census
MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 3, 2018) — The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey on Friday signed a letter formally requesting the U.S. Census Bureau remove the citizenship question from its 2020 census questionnaire.
For the first time since 1950, the U.S. Census Bureau plans to ask everyone living in the United States whether they are citizens when it conducts the next decennial census in 2020. The inclusion of the citizenship question would likely deter immigrant and refugee residents from participating in the questionnaire, which would undermine the ability of Minneapolis and other municipalities across the country from getting accurate population counts.
“As decision-makers within the City, we constantly rely on data gathered during the census, including decisions that impact critical community infrastructure, housing, transportation, economy and so much more,” the letter said. “Census data provides the most up-to-date information we have on the characteristics of the people in Minnesota.”
The U.S. Census Bureau is accepting public comments on the proposed citizenship question through Aug. 7, 2018. The City joins several other government entities across the country in opposing the plan.
The letter also calls for the 2020 census to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Census results determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, political districts for every level of government and federal funding levels for local communities for vital resources.