Census Bureau Has Prepared 2 Versions: With And Without Citizenship Question

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 3: Signs sit behind the podium before the start of a press conference with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to announce a multi-state lawsuit to block the Trump administration from add... NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 3: Signs sit behind the podium before the start of a press conference with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to announce a multi-state lawsuit to block the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census form, at the headquarters of District Council 37, New York City's largest public employee union, April 3, 2018 in New York City. Critics of President Donald Trump's administration's decision to reinstate the citizenship question contend that that it will frighten people in immigrant communities from responding to the census. The Trump administration has stated a citizenship question on the census will help enforce voting rights. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 1, 2019 5:35 p.m.
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The Census Bureau has prepared two versions of its decennial survey: one that includes the citizenship question and one that does not, CNN reported Monday.

The Commerce Department pushed to add a citizenship question to the census, but quickly faced legal challenges, leaving the fate of the question uncertain. Two federal judges have ruled that the question must be removed from the 2020 Census, and the issue is now in the Supreme Court’s hands.

The court is due to rule on the constitutionality of the question by early summer, but the clock is ticking for Census officials to prepare the critical survey on schedule.

“We have film that will be prepared for our printer for either decision that they make,” Associate Census Director Al Fontenot told reporters, according to CNN.

“For our electronic side of the Census, we have a plan where we have a switch that says answer the question, ask the question, don’t ask the question,” Fontenot said. “Already budgeted, already completed the work necessary to answer either way the decision comes down.”

Fontenot told reporters that the government’s printer requested a July 1 deadline to get the paper forms printed.

Voting rights advocates strongly oppose the inclusion of the question, claiming it will depress response rates, particularly in immigrant communities. Census figures are used to allocate tens of billions of dollars in federal resources, as well as how state legislative and congressional districts are drawn.

Despite the legal setbacks so far, the Trump administration remains intent on the citizenship question’s inclusion.

“Can you believe that the Radical Left Democrats want to do our new and very important Census Report without the all important Citizenship Question,” President Trump tweeted Monday, exactly one year before 2020 Census day. “Report would be meaningless and a waste of the $Billions (ridiculous) that it costs to put together!”

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