In CNN Op-ed, Republican Former Assistant AG Insists Trump Administration Citizenship Question Case is a Sham

Contact: LaGloria Wheatfall, [email protected], 202.548.7160

WASHINGTON – In a CNN op-ed, John R. Dunne, former assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Justice Department, insists the Trump administration’s case to keep the citizenship question on the census to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, is a sham.

“I had the privilege of serving at the helm of the Civil Rights Division in a Republican administration and personally reviewed numerous proceedings and frequent litigation to enforce the Voting Rights Act,” said Dunne. “ In the 54 years since it was passed, not one of my counterparts — Republican or Democrat — sought a citizenship question on the census since we recognized that it was unnecessary for vigorous enforcement of the act and would likely do more harm than good.”

Dunne also called the administration’s reasons for the question “invented, not real,” which relied on a “series of fictions, not facts” about the impact of the citizenship question. “In a polarized climate of fear, more realistic evidence (including the Census Bureau’s own research) suggests that a citizenship question would lead to a nearly 6% decline in self-response rates among noncitizen and Hispanic households,” said Dunne.

The full text of the op-ed is available here.

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