Trump administration issues unconstitutional memorandum on 2020 Census

Written by: Erica Manoatl
Date Posted: July 24, 2020

The 2020 Census has been underway since March, but on Tuesday the White House released a memo to unconstitutionally exclude people who are undocumented from the decennial count. The U.S. Constitution states that the aim of the decennial census is to count every person in the country, including every immigrant of any status, for purposes of congressional appointment and to influence an estimated public investment of $600 billion in federal assistance to states and communities. People who are non-citizens have been counted by the decennial census throughout American history; in addition to the administration’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the decennial survey, this recent effort by the Trump administration is aimed to suppress response rates and skew participation. 

Immigrants live, work and go to school in Colorado and contribute significantly to our economy. An accurate count of all persons, including immigrants, is essential to our state as these data inform programs and funding sources including the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Head Start, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Lower response rates would mean less funding for the programs that set Colorado’s kids and families up to thrive.  

It is your right to respond to the census, and when you do, federal law strictly protects your confidentiality. The Census Bureau is required by law to keep your personal responses confidential for 72 years; your data cannot be shared with ICE, landlords, law enforcement, government agencies or courts of law and cannot affect any public benefits you receive. Respond to the 2020 Census online or by phone with just your home address today and instruct your community to do the same. 

Erica Manoatl

About Erica Manoatl

Erica Manoatl is the Research Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. In this role, she supports the organization’s research priorities, data analysis, and writing in all issue areas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from George Washington University and a Master of Public Health in Population and Family Health from Columbia University.