2020 Census Ignites Concerns

photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Jess Barton , Staff Writer

The census is an official survey of the United States population that is done every ten years. The Trump administration has create an uproar as a result of their decision to include a citizenship question on the next census. Supporters say this question is standard procedure and completely confidential. However, critics believe non-citizens may skip the census to protect themselves, altering the logistics of the census. Officials from the Official Census Bureau will appear at Capitol Hill next month to answer questions about the next census. The meeting will be the first public appearance from officials after the decision to implement the question.

Those who oppose the new census believe the government will use the answers to discriminate against non-citizens. This would not be the first time a census was used to negatively affect Americans. In the World War II era, the government used the census to locate Japanese Americans living along the west coast and relocate them to internment camps. The question reappears on the 2020 census as it has not been used since 1950. Census officials discovered the use of the census to target Japanese Americans in 2000 and also claimed the Bureau released “microdata” or the names and addresses of individuals of Japanese ancestry.

Amid concern coming from progressives, there will also be a question about same-sex marriages for the first time. Same-sex couples are able to identify themselves in addition to more focus on the national origins on the race question. There is also a “much-researched check box for people of Middle Eastern or North African origins.” The census has previously “overcounted” same-sex couples in recent years. There are still two years before the census is counted and much could change before then.