Democrat 2020 candidate Eric Swalwell argued during Thursday’s primary debate that President Donald Trump is attempting to erase migrants’ existence by “weaponizing the census.”
“This president though, for immigrants, there’s nothing he will not do to separate a family, cage a child, or erase their existence by weaponizing the census,” Swalwell said as the ten candidates discussed the issue of the decriminalization of crossing the U.S. border illegally.
“There is nothing we cannot do in the courts and that I will not do as president to reverse that and to make sure that families always belong together,” Swalwell went on.
The Trump administration has sought to reinstate a citizenship question on the U.S. census in 2020. The issue has made its way up through the courts, and on Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a decision that states the question can be asked, but a separate vote on the issue sent it back to a lower court.
Democrats have feared they could lose legislative seats and have argued that including a citizenship question on the U.S. Census again would stir up fear among immigrants, preventing them from participating. Democrats have also contended that the Trump administration is attempting to use the question for political purposes. Republicans have rebutted that argument and contended that the counting of illegal immigrants as citizens skews those counted when determining legislative districts.
The Supreme Court issued its ruling Thursday 5–4 to block the reinstatement of a citizenship question to the U.S. Census for 2020. The Trump administration has sought to add the question that was removed years ago. The court did determine that the administration can ask the question, but a separate vote, also 5–4, sent the issue back to a lower court, which causes a delay that would prevent the question from making a cutoff for printing of the 2020 census forms.