Dean Johnson and Professor Cooper Comment for NBC News, San Francisco Chronicle on Controversial 2020 Census Question
Many immigration law scholars raised concerns about the Trump administration’s announcement last week that the 2020 U.S. Census would include a question about citizenship status.
Dean Kevin Johnson points out in an article for NBC News that including this question could lead to legal residents not participating out of fear of the Trump administration's harsh rhetoric on immigration. He said it could also influence how households with people of mixed status respond.
"Things are tense and politically fractious and people, immigrants in particular, but people who are relatives of immigrants, are frightened in a way that people haven’t seen in the United States in a generation or more," Johnson said.
Professor Holly Cooper - co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic - is an expert on immigrant detention and deportation policies. Cooper told the San Francisco Chronicle that some immigrants would refuse to participate because they do not believe their answers to the census question would be kept confidential. She said many immigrants fear the information will be used as a registry for arrests and deportations.