As the U.S. government closed a public comment period on Wednesday on its plans for the 2020 census, scientists, philanthropists and civil rights groups used the occasion to again criticize plans to include a question about U.S. citizenship. The comment period gave any member of the public a chance to comment on aspects of the census which is a mandatory, once-a-decade count of the U.S. population that next occurs in April 2020. The comments have not yet been published, but some groups and individuals reinforced their opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to ask census respondents whether they are U.S. citizens.
At least 250,000 people have called for removing the question, according to a coalition of civil rights groups, led by the Leadership Conference Education Fund here on Wednesday.
“This egregious citizenship question is a political effort to weaponize the census to redefine American democracy for a narrow set of people,” Vanita Gupta, the fund’s president, said in a statement.