At a Michigan gas station, the message is obvious - at least to Arabic speakers: Be counted in the 2020 census. "Provide your community with more/additional opportunities," the advertisement on the pump handle reads in Arabic. In the fine print, next to "United States Census 2020," it adds: "To shape your future with your own hands, start here." As state officials and non-profit groups target hard-to-count groups like immigrants, people of colour and those in poverty, many Arab Americans say the undercount is even more pronounced for them. That means one of the largest and most concentrated Arab populations outside the Middle East - those in the Detroit area - could be missing out on federal funding for education, healthcare, crime prevention and other programmes that the census determines how to divvy up.
President Donald Trump is threatening the 2020 census from every direction: Cutting its budget, scaring immigrants away from answering its questions, and prohibiting the Census Bureau from hiring the best people for the job. While we have to defend this invaluable source of data and the foundation of accurate political redistricting, we don't have to lose sight of what a strange creature the census is. The census has always reflected a Trumpian view of America, revealing our deepest anxieties about race and inequality. It's a bit like a bathroom mirror the morning after a big party, reflecting what we've been up to in a way that is honest and ugly. As a sociologist, I love the census.
EXCLUSIVE: The Commerce Department on Thursday terminated its just-announced planned partnership with the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, after Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" asked the Trump administration about CAIR's reported past links to the terrorist group Hamas. "Based on further review, the Census Bureau is no longer partnering with CAIR," the Commerce Department said in a statement to "Tucker." The plan, according to administration officials, was to enhance outreach efforts to Muslims using CAIR's network of local offices. The census, conducted once a decade, has been used not only to determine congressional apportionment, but also as a critical planning tool for state, local and federal agencies. However, CAIR and the Trump administration would have been strange bedfellows -- and tension in the relationship was evident earlier Thursday.