The Trump administration’s effort to restore the citizenship question on the national census has been regarded by critics as an “attack on immigrants,” particularly Latinos.
But a new poll finds a majority of Hispanic voters, along with two-thirds of voters overall, approve of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, the Washington Times reported.
Democratic lawmakers contend the question would discourage participation in the census in Latino communities.
But the survey by the Harvard University Center for American Political Studies and the Harris polling company found that 67 percent of all registered U.S. voters say the census should ask the citizenship question.
Voters favoring the question included 88 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats.
Significantly, 55 percent of Hispanic voters favor including the question.
In addition, 59 percent of black voters, 58 percent of urban voters and 47 percent of voters who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 were in favor.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked the Trump administration from restoring the question to the census. But Trump has vowed to continue pressing for its inclusion, indicating he would use his executive order power if necessary.
Trump not giving up
“We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question,” he wrote on Twitter.
The administration cites enforcement of the Voting Rights Act as the reason for adding the citizenship question. Its lawyers argue it’s needed to have an accurate count of citizen voting-age populations in every congressional district.
Immigrant advocacy organizations contend it might deter noncitizens from answering the census, creating an “undercount.”
On Tuesday, the Washington Times reported, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged Democrats who oppose the question.
“I would ask the Democrats — I hear they’re screaming rhetoric — I would ask what are you afraid of?” she asked.
“Why wouldn’t you want to know who’s living in this country, and who’s a citizen and who’s not a citizen?”