Butterfield Introduces Bill to Protect Redistricting Process from Misuse of Citizenship Data

Sep 19, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) introduced a bill prohibiting the United States Census Bureau from including any citizenship information in the data it provides to states for congressional redistricting.  The bill is a companion to an identical bill introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Cory Booker.

“The Trump Administration has proven to be untrustworthy and all too willing to go to any length to rig our political system in its favor,” said Butterfield.  “This has been clearly demonstrated over the past two years in the Trump Administration’s efforts to first include a citizenship question on the U.S. Census, which experts said would discourage communities of color from participating, and now to use citizenship information for political gain in the redistricting process at the expense of equal representation for millions of minorities across the country.  

“Although the Supreme Court decided in June to block the Trump Administration from including a citizenship question on the 2020 census form, the Trump Administration has moved forward with the collection of citizenship data with plans of releasing it to states for use in redistricting.  Recently, the motivations for these nefarious actions were revealed on the hard-drives and hundreds of thousands of documents created by the late Thomas Hofeller, a Republican strategist who contributed to gerrymandering efforts that favored Republicans in North Carolina and across the country.  Congress must ensure the Census and citizenship data cannot be weaponized by the Trump Administration and its allies.  This bill will thwart those efforts and I’m proud to join my friend and colleague, Senator Booker, in this effort.” 

“The Trump Administration made every effort to alter the sanctity of the Census process and use it as a surgical tool to undercount and hurt vulnerable communities for political gain,” said Senator Booker. “This administration went to great lengths to erode our institutions and threaten our democracy. The President admitted that he intends to make citizenship information a part of the redistricting process, which experts warn will benefit one political party. This egregious and blatant attempt to tamper with our democratic process would completely overhaul the rules of who gets to participate in a representative democracy in America and it cannot go unchecked. I’m pleased Rep. Butterfield has joined me in this critically important legislation.”

ENDORSED BY: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Equality California, Silver State Equality-Nevada, NALEO



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