Aurora city leaders fear that a census citizenship question could have negative impacts on the city. They’re sending a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross urging against it.
The Aurora Sentinel reports that the Aurora City Council members are requesting the questionnaire leave out the inquiry because of the number of immigrants and refugees that call the city home — nearly one in five residents is foreign born.
The letter says “that a citizenship question will unduly burden respondents and lower participation by immigrants who fear the government’s use of such private information.”
The Sentinel reported that councilman Charlie Richardson, also the former Aurora city attorney, said the question could have significant impacts on the city if residents are scared out of responding because of the question.
Of course not all government leaders in Colorado are on the same page with Aurora’s council members. State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, in her elected capacity, announced she’s in favor of the question.
“The goal of the census is to produce as accurate a picture as possible of the makeup of our vast and diverse country so that all people that live within our borders can be appropriately represented,” she said in a released statement.
“Colorado’s next redistricting and reapportionment will be based on its 2020 Census data. We need the most complete information possible to assure fair political representation of the entire state. In fact, it is so important to be able to obtain this information that federal law provides strong privacy protections for the information that is collected, which should help overcome any reluctance to participate.”
Aurora leaders disagreed on asking a question about a resident’s LGBQT status. Nicole Johnston, elected in 2017 after being recruited by Emerge Colorado, said it could be important information for local nonprofit organizations, according to the Sentinel.
Those members in favor were told they could send a letter on their own, so long as it states they are doing so in an individual capacity.