The appearance of new documents further fuels suspicions about the inclusion of a controversial question about citizenship in the US census. that has tried to incorporate the current Administration but that has provoked the rejection of the opposition and of social movements, informed this Saturday local media.
The controversy goes back to the beginning of last year, when the government of President Donald Trump announced his decision to include in the census a question regarding the legal status of the respondents, which, according to the Democratic Party, could lead thousands of undocumented immigrants to not participate in the survey.
The executive maintains that this question is fundamental to better understand the composition of the population, but the opposition and various social organizations have pointed out that, in reality, it would only serve to reduce the visibility of the immigrant community, which could have a negative effect on the offer of public services.
Likewise, the Government’s intention to include this question has unleashed the fear of the immigrant community that the information could be sent to the immigration authorities that have the power to repatriate them to their countries of origin.
Last January, following a lawsuit filed by activist groups, a New York court rejected the proposal, but the government chose to raise the issue to the Supreme Court, which, in February, agreed to rule on the case.
However, the controversy has experienced a new episode in recent weeks after it came to light a report by Thomas Hofeller, a strategist of the Republican party who died in August 2018, which recommended including in the census that question to so to redesign the electoral districts in a manner favorable to the interests of conservative education.
The Administration’s response was to distance itself from the report – which came to light after being found by its own daughter, Stephanie Hofeller Lizon, among the roles of the strategist after her death – and to deny her knowledge of its existence.
This Saturday, however, The Washington Post has disclosed the existence of a series of documents, also found by Hofeller Lizon, stating that the political adviser informed his conclusions to Christa Jones, the current chief of staff of the office of the Director of the US Census Bureau, Steven Dillingham.
“The direct contact of Mrs. Jones with Hofeller on the question of the citizenship refutes the defense’s allegations that a connection between Hofeller and the secretary (of the Department of Commerce, Wilbur Ross) can not be demonstrated,” says a document. of the plaintiffs obtained by the newspaper.
By contrast, in a statement, the Department of Commerce, responsible for the development of the census, has indicated that Ross did not rely “on Hofeller or his theories” when he decided to include the controversial question in the next census, which will be held in 2020, and labeled the plaintiffs’ arguments as “conspiracy theories.”
On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee, controlled by the Democrats, declared in contempt both Ross and State Attorney General William Barr for refusing to provide documentation regarding the decision to include such a question.