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Opinion

Readers React: A citizenship question doesn’t belong in the census

FILE - In this March 15, 2010, file photo, copies of the 2010 Census forms in Phoenix. The 2020 U.S.
Unlike the 2010 Census forms, shown here in Phoenix, the 2020 U.S. Census forms will include a question about citizenship status, a move that brought swift condemnation from Democrats who said it would intimidate immigrants and discourage them from participating.
(Ross D. Franklin / AP)

To the editor: Adding the citizenship question to census 2020 does two things for the Republican Party. First, it discourages undocumented people from being counted at all, which could lead to California losing one or two seats in the House of Representatives. Second, it further encourages skewed redistricting so that a minority party would be able to have majority vote. Besides, citizenship status data already is available from surveys, so it not necessary to add the question and risk damaging the census results.

This is as bad as the 1920 census when the Republican-controlled Congress refused to apportion the House because too many “foreigners” (i.e., Irish, Italians, etc.) had immigrated into the big cities. Add this to extreme gerrymandering and voter suppression. Is there no shame?

Chris Williamson, Camarillo

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To the editor: An “actual enumeration” is not possible if a citizenship question is included. First of all, it is specious at best because it offers no information pertinent to the purpose of the enumeration. Clearly, the forefathers recognized the need to address the reality of the impact of noncitizens. Considering the Trump administration’s animosity toward noncitizens (and many citizens), there is real fear of repercussions.

If I see this question on the census form, I will clearly write, “I refuse to respond to this question.” I encourage a preponderance of my fellow residents, citizen or not, to follow my example so that we may nullify the true reason for this subversion.

Gregg Ferry, Carlsbad

@latimesopinion

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