Citizenship question dropped from census, but advocates fear ‘damage has been done’

By | July 12, 2019

ABC News reports:

Earlier this month, a chilling missive arrived at the Chicago office of the American Civil Liberties Union: a fake ACLU flier that had surfaced online, calling on immigrants to boycott the 2020 census.

“If you get a census form, do not fill it out! ICE will find you and deport you!” it warned. The document went on to advise people to destroy any census form that arrives in the mail and to ignore knocks at the door from census workers. “Federal Department of Commerce agents will be looking for any evidence of identity theft, outstanding warrants, and anyone subject to deportation orders. Remain Silent. Protect your Information.”

“This isn’t really you guys, is it?” wondered the concerned tipster, who first alerted Ed Yohnka, the ACLU’s communication’s director in Chicago, to the ruse.

The flier was a hoax, but it was “concerning and alarming” all the same, Yohnka said.

For months, the ACLU has been fighting the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the once-per-decade population count because they believe it would discourage non-citizens from participating. On Thursday, Trump acknowledged that time had run out and said his administration would drop the effort to add the question, while pushing ahead with an attempt to count U.S. citizens by other means.

While that might be viewed as a victory, lawyers and immigration rights advocates who opposed adding the question told ABC News that, like a bell than can’t be unrung, the mere discussion of it, coupled with the president’s Muslim ban and policies on immigrants at the southern border, has left people on edge. [Continue reading…]

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