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Fight over census centers for motivation for a question of citizenship



It was only true in the narrowest senses. Evidence in the trials shows that the interest in the issue dated to the fall of 2016 when a transition team preparing for the Trump presidency added it to a list of issues to consider. The proposal came from Mr Hofeller, the principal of a number of gerrymanders drawn in 2011, who locked the Republican party for a decade of control in state legislators nationwide.

Herr. Ross has repeatedly said that he decided to add a citizenship issue only after the Ministry of Justice had requested it, saying that better citizenship data would help law enforcement. However, evidence in the trial has shown that Mr Ross pushed the department to request the citizenship, not the other way around.

Adding the question seemed to be a high priority for the trade secretary.

Less than two weeks after taking a position in 2017, Mr. Ross an assistant in investigating whether recent censuses had asked for citizenship (they did not) and whether non-citizens were included in population censuses used for redistricting (they were).

In April, at the request of Mr Trump's chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Ross about the census with Kris Kobach, at that time, the Kansas State Secretary and a virulent opponent of immigration. In a subsequent email, Mr Kobach told Mr Ross that adding a citizenship issue was crucial to solving the "problem that foreigners who do not actually" live "in the United States are still considered congressional distribution."

Herr. Ross later said he was not about Mr Kobach's advice.

It was only in December that the Ministry of Justice formally requested a citizenship issue in a three-page request that the addition of the question be "critical" to get accurate data enough on non-citizens to enforce the law on voting rights .

In the following months, expert analysts concluded that the issue would discourage at least 630,000 households with millions of citizens from completing the census form and offered Mr. Ross alternatives that they said would produce much the same data. Both public comments on the proposal and responses from businesses and experts were almost uniform against adding the question.

Mr. However, Ross was untouched, and the trading department later said that his wooing of the Justice Department was not a proof of debt, but a community record of how the policy was made.

"The officials' services discussed important issues prior to formulation policy are signs of good government," a spokesman, Kevin Manning, said in a statement. "Executive branch officials worked together to ensure that Secretary Ross received all the information needed to make an informed decision."


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