news·3 min read

Cory Booker: Citizenship question on census is ‘outrageous’

Jun 16, 2019

The Story

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a 2020 presidential candidate, has strong feelings about adding a citizenship question to next year’s census.

A citizenship question?

Yes. The Trump admin wants to ask everyone whether they’re a citizen on the 2020 census in order to better enforce minorities’ voting rights.

How would that work?

It can get a bit in the weeds. We break it all down over here.

Ok so what’s the problem?

Critics say asking about citizenship will scare minority and immigrant households into not answering the census, leading to an undercount of people living in the US. Plus, some are questioning the Trump admin’s motive for adding the question. And there’s evidence that the question may give Republicans an electoral advantage. Dozens of states, cities, and other groups sued. Now the question is before the Supreme Court.

Where does Cory Booker come in?

He’s running for president in 2020. And recently sat down with theSkimm to talk about his policy priorities. We asked him about the citizenship question. Here’s what he had to say:

Could you give me a recap?

Sure thing. Booker says that this is a “crass, cynical attempt” by the admin to undercount certain populations. He points out that census data is used to allocate federal funding for public services. It also determines representation in Congress. And that when it comes to these things, an undercount will hurt some communities more than others.

What does President Trump say?

He thinks it’s “totally ridiculous” to issue a census without a citizenship question. And that the government has a right to ask whether someone is a citizen or not.


The census is a huge undertaking that impacts day-to-day life in the US. And the Supremes could issue a decision on this case anytime in the next week or so. Expect to hear a lot of opinions.

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