Locals weigh in about 2020 Census citizenship question


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA) — The Supreme Court is forbidding President Donald Trump’s administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census for now after a four-five vote on Thursday, June 27.

The court said the Trump Administration’s reasoning for wanting to add the question, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” was “more of a distraction” than an explanation.

The high court’s decision is getting different reactions from Northwest, Arkansas residents.

“The reason why I am a thumbs down and I don’t like the decision itself leads to bigger ramifications that are very contrary to the law,” District 5 Arkansas Senator Bob Ballinger said.

“This question was really a problematic question, so we are very satisfied with this decision from the Supreme Court, Arkansas United Immigrant Resource Center Operations Director Irma Chavez said.

President Trump tweeted Thursday: “Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020. I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter. Can anyone really believe that as a great Country, we are not able the ask whether or not someone is a Citizen. Only in America! “

It’s unclear whether a delay is possible as census forms are supposed to be printed beginning next week, but as now Chavez sees the ruling as a win.

“I think this is just a starting and I think we are going to get better things if we all get united, work together, and fight for our rights,” she said.

Ballinger said he hopes the Trump Administration does delay the 2020 Census and thinks this is only an issue because there is a presumption the administration is acting in bad faith.

“I can’t imagine individuals not seeing the value of knowing with so many entitlements are based on citizenship,” he said.

The Census Bureau’s own experts have predicted that millions of Hispanics and immigrants would go uncounted if the census asked everyone if he or she is an American citizen.

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