Booker Seeks To Restrict The Use Of Census Citizenship Data

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Ezer Zuniga Contributor
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Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is proposing legislation that would forbid the Census Bureau from giving citizenship data to redistricting officials.

President Donald Trump continues to push forward in his effort to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census. In response, the Democratic presidential candidate will introduce a Senate bill Wednesday that would ban the U.S. Census Bureau from providing census citizenship information to redistricting officials. (RELATED: Cory Booker Brags About People Shot And Killed In His Neighborhood)

The Supreme Court has already blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Since then, Trump has argued that citizenship data is necessary for drawing congressional districts, and has suggested that he may try to use an executive order to add the question.

Trump also expressed disapproval at the Supreme Court’s decision.

“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 the case of 2020,” Trump tweeted in June. “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 to ask whether or not someone is a citizen. Only in America!”

Booker was quick to condemn Trump’s effort.

“The President has now admitted that he intends to make citizenship information a part of the redistricting process, which experts warn will benefit one political party,” Booker wrote in a statement. “This egregious and blatant attempt to tamper with our democratic process would completely overhaul the rules of who gets to participate in a representative democracy in America and it can’t go unchecked.”

Booker Speaks During Democratic Presidential Debate (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Booker Speaks During Democratic Presidential Debate (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

It is unlikely that Booker’s bill becomes a law given that the Senate is currently controlled by Republicans.

Booker’s plan could serve as a preemptive check against the Trump administration’s use of the census. He claims that the Trump administration would use the census as “a surgical tool to undercount and hurt certain communities for political gain.”

“To be clear, redistricting based on citizenship data will push communities of color – which are already dramatically undercounted – farther into the shadows,” Booker said.

The Census Bureau reportedly already intends on supplying citizenship information to redistricting officials in 2021, according to NPR. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross made the initial decision to add a citizenship question to the census, and also directed the bureau to collect citizenship data from the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration and the State Department.

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