The United States is gearing up to conduct its next population census in 2020 but a thorny question on citizenship has ignited controversy even before it has begun. When the decennial national headcount gets under way, census takers may have to ask respondents if they are US citizens, which observers say would discourage some ethnic minorities from participating and undermine the accuracy of the data. Arturo Vargas, head of the NALEO Educational Fund, said surveys have shown as recently as September that test respondents are now experiencing “unprecedented fear of the US government.”
President Donald Trump took office on a nationalist anti-immigrant agenda, linking foreigners and migration to terrorism, crime and lost jobs. In his State of the Union address last month, he reiterated his pledge to cut legal immigration and beef up enforcement.
In this heated environment, with frequent reports of immigrants tearfully torn from their families and deported, large segments of the population could refuse to participate in the census, out of fear authorities could use the information against them, critics say.
Full Article: US citizenship query could threaten 2020 census: experts.