Analysis: Why the 2020 census doesn’t need a citizenship question to count the undocumented

Good in depth analysis for data nerds:

It is now clear that there will be no question about citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census.

After the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration, President Trump vowed to find a way to include the question. But with no legal path forward and time running out, the administration ultimately backed down.

Opponents of the citizenship question remain concerned about the census, though hopeful that more immigrant households will respond to the census now that the question has been removed.

But others worry that it will be much harder to keep track of undocumented immigrants. President Trump argued that a citizenship question was needed, saying: “I think it is very important to find out if somebody is a citizen as opposed to an illegal.”

However, a citizenship question wouldn’t actually help the government distinguish between who is an undocumented immigrant and who is not. The question distinguishes only between citizens and noncitizens, and noncitizens are not the same as undocumented immigrants. For example, three out of five noncitizens are in the country legally.

Even more importantly, demographers have figured out a simple and effective way to estimate the number of unauthorized immigrants – even without information on citizenship. In the last five years, my colleagues Frank D. Bean, James D. Bachmeier and I have conducted a series of studies that evaluate this method and its assumptions.

Our research on the methods used to estimate the size of the group indicates that existing estimates – putting the undocumented population at about 11 million – are reasonably accurate.

Here’s how it works.

What’s the formula?

Beginning in the late 1970s, a group of demographers consisting primarily of Jeffrey Passel, Robert Warren, Jacob Siegel, Gregory Robinson and Karen Woodrow introduced the “residual method” for estimating the number of unauthorized immigrants living in the country.

At the time, Passel and his collaborators were affiliated with the U.S. Bureau of the Census and Warren with the Office of Immigration Statistics of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Much of this work was published in the form of internal reports, but some of it appeared in major journals.

The residual method uses an estimate of the total foreign-born population in the country, based on U.S. Census data. Researchers then subtract from it the number of legal immigrants residing here, estimated from government records of legal immigrants who receive “green cards” minus the number that died or left the country. The result is an estimate of the unauthorized population.

Various adjustments are typically made to this formula. Most adjustments are minor, but a particularly important one adjusts for what researchers call “coverage error” among the unauthorized foreign-born. Coverage error occurs when the census data underestimate the size of a group. This can occur when people live in nonresidential or unconventional locations – such as on the streets or in a neighbor’s basement – or when they fail to respond to the census.

Coverage error could be particularly high among unauthorized immigrants because they may be trying to avoid detection. The Census Bureau’s own research suggests that asking about citizenship would likely aggravate this issue.

Currently, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pew Hispanic Center and the Center for Migration Studies are the major producers of estimates of the unauthorized foreign-born population.

Chart by The Conversation, CC-BY-ND. Data source: <a href="https://www.pewhispanic.org/2019/06/03/facts-on-u-s-immigrants/" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" >Pew Research Center</a>

Chart by The Conversation, CC-BY-ND. Data source: Pew Research Center

How accurate are the estimates?

The residual method has been widely used and accepted since the late 1970s. Within a reasonable margin of error, it predicted the number of unauthorized immigrants to legalize under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which, among other things, granted permanent residency status to unauthorized immigrants who had been living in the country since 1982. The residual method predicted that about 2.2 millionmet the residency requirement; the actual number to come forward was about 1.7 million.

Both Department of Homeland Security and Pew have used the residual method to estimate the unauthorized population since 2005. Despite using slightly different data and assumptions, Pew’s, Department of Homeland Security’s, and the Center for Migration Studies’s estimates have never differed by more than 1 million people, less than 10% of the total unauthorized population.

Nevertheless, skeptics question a key assumption of the residual method, which is that unauthorized immigrants participate in census surveys. All three organizations listed above inflate their estimates to account for the possibility that some unauthorized immigrants are missing from census data. For example, Pew inflates by about 13%. But is this enough?

My colleagues and I estimated coverage error among Mexican immigrants, a group that composes 60% of all unauthorized immigrants.

Even if they are not counted in a census, populations leave “footprints” of their presence in the form of deaths and births. Because people give birth and die with known regularity, regardless of their legal status, we were able to use birth and death records of all Mexican-born persons to determine the number of Mexican-born persons living in the U.S. We also looked at changes in Mexican census data between 1990 and 2010 to gauge the size of Mexico’s “missing” population, most of whom moved to the U.S.

We then compared these estimates with the estimated number of Mexican immigrants in census data. We found that the census missed as many as 26% of unauthorized immigrants in the early 2000s.

We speculated that this could have been due to the large numbers of temporary Mexican labor migrants who were living in the U.S. at the time. Because many worked in construction during the housing boom and lived in temporary housing arrangements, it may have been particularly difficult to accurately account for them in census surveys.

However, when the Great Recession and housing crisis hit, many of these temporary workers went home or stopped coming to the U.S. in the first place, and coverage error declined. By 2010, the coverage error may have been as low as 6% and does not appear to have changed much since then.

If current levels of coverage error for all unauthorized immigrants were as high as 26%, then the number living in the country could be as high as 13 million. But if coverage error were as low as 6%, then the figure could be as low as 10.3 million. The true number likely falls within that narrow range.

What this boils down to is that demographers already have a pretty good idea of the number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., even without relying on citizenship data. If coverage error has declined as much as we think it has, then the truth is at the lower end of this range.

Will administrative records improve the estimates?

Looking ahead, methods could change as new data become available.

In the wake of its Supreme Court loss, the Trump administration issued an executive order directing government agencies to share administrative data on citizenship.

They want to link information on citizenship and immigration status in administrative records to everyone’s census responses. For example, the executive order requests the Department of Homeland Security’s records on refugee and asylum visas, as well as Master Beneficiary Records from the Social Security Administration. They want to use this information to estimate the undocumented population at very detailed levels of geography for purposes of redistricting, reapportionment and the allocation of public funds.

(It is worth noting that the Census Bureau is a fortress when it comes to protecting your data. Under federal law, the Census Bureau cannot share your personal information with anyone, including other government agencies such as ICE.)

Regardless of how anyone feels about these policy proposals, administrative data may not be up to the task. In my view, administrative records are complicated to use. They can provide inconsistent information about the same person depending on which agency’s records are used.

Additionally, the records will be of limited value for describing those who fall outside of the administrative records system, which can happen for all kinds of reasons. Even if the Trump administration uses administrative records to estimate the undocumented population, researchers will still need to make assumptions about coverage error, just like they do for the residual method.

Overall, I suspect that administrative records could help answer some narrowly defined questions about immigrants and improve national estimates. The jury is still out about their ability to provide definitive answers about the precise numbers of undocumented immigrants, particularly at detailed levels of geography.

Source: Analysis: Why the 2020 census doesn’t need a citizenship question to count the undocumented

Kuwait: Authorities crackdown on protesters demanding citizenship rights

Ongoing story:

The Kuwaiti authorities have arbitrarily arrested more than a dozen protesters in recent days, including prominent human rights defender Abdulhakim al-Fadhli and other activists, in a crackdown on peaceful protestors demanding greater rights for the stateless group known as Bidun [short for “without citizenship”]. Twelve protesters remained in custody, Amnesty International said.

The arrests took place between 11 and 14 July following demonstrations held last week by members of the Bidun group, who had gathered in Freedom Square in Tayma, in the Governorate of Jahra, and Al Erada Square, in Kuwait City, after Ayed Hamad Moudath, 20, committed suicide after reportedly being unable to obtain official documents and eventually losing his job.

“These arbitrary arrests primarily targeting peaceful protesters, activists and human rights defenders in Kuwait are not only unlawful, but are only set to exacerbate an already tense situation brought to the fore by the young man’s suicide. By continuing to deny the Bidun citizenship, the authorities are denying these long-term residents a range of basic rights, including their right to health, education and work, which in effect exclude them from being part and parcel of and contributing to a vibrant Kuwaiti society,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Research.

“This has been a long-standing issue since Kuwait’s independence in 1961. It is high time the authorities address it in a meaningful and sustainable manner by ensuring that all Biduns have access to an independent, prompt and fair process when applying for citizenship.”

Two of the detained protesters Nawaf al-Badr and Mohamad al-Anzi, were referred to prosecutors on 14 July and charged with “national security offences”. Their detention has been extended for 21 days.

Abdulhakim al-Fadhli and nine others were referred to prosecutors on 15 July and face a range of charges including participation in unlicensed protests, misuse of communication equipment, spreading false news, and other national security offences. Others were summoned and questioned but not arrested.

“We call on the Kuwaiti authorities to immediately lift the unlawful restriction of the rights to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression and to release the protesters or charge them with a recognizable criminal offence,” Lynn Maalouf said.

Background

More than 100,000 Bidun people are long-term residents of Kuwait, with most of them born there and belonging to families who have lived there for generations.

Despite government reforms announced in 2015, the Bidun community face severe restrictions on their ability to access documentation, employment, health care, education and state support enjoyed by Kuwaiti citizens.

In 2018, the minister of education rejected a parliamentary proposal to register children of Bidun in public schools. In the past, when Bidun people have protested to demand their rights, they have often faced repression.

Source: Kuwait: Authorities crackdown on protesters demanding citizenship rights

Zelensky initiates dual citizenship for Ukrainians living abroad

Given the large number of Ukrainian Canadians (1.4 million), significant:

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky ordered the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine to develop the procedures of the provision of the second Ukrainian citizenship to the Ukrainians, who live abroad. He also ordered to simplify the procedure of the provision of the Ukrainian citizenship to people, whose rights and freedoms are violated as President’s Office reported.“From his side, President of Ukraine orders the MFA to develop the mechanism of the provision of Ukrainian citizenship as the second one to the ethnic Ukrainians from friendly states, to those, who want to join the development of their historical homeland. Besides, Volodymyr Zelensky orders to develop the mechanism of the simplified provision of Ukrainian citizenship to people who suffer from the violation of rights and freedoms in their countries,” the message said.

Such decision was made within the news on the extension of the arrest of Ukrainian POW sailors and signing of the order on the simplified procedure of the provision of the Russian citizenship to the Ukrainians by Russia’s president. Zelensky’s office believes that such steps create the obstacles for the weakening of the conflict in Donbas.

On July 17, 2019, Lefortovo Moscow Court extended arrest of all 24 Ukrainian POW sailors until the end of October.

The same day President of Russia Vladimir Putin distributed the effect of the order on facilitated issuance of Russian citizenship on all the residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Source: Zelensky initiates dual citizenship for Ukrainians living abroad

Bill introduced to allow dual citizenship for Indians

Given the large number of Indian expatriates, significant if passed and implemented:

Draft legislation brought before the Indian parliament seeks to allow dual citizenship for millions of foreign nationals of Indian origin who currently have to renounce Indian citizenship once they become citizens of another country.

Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor introduced a Bill last week to amend Article 9 of the Constitution of India that provides for automatic termination of the Indian citizenship upon acquiring citizenship of another country.

“We have the largest diaspora in the world, many of whom have migrated abroad for better opportunities. Taking a foreign passport for convenience does not make them any less Indian,” said Mr Tharoor.

According to the UN World Migration Report 2018, over 15.6 million Indians are living in other countries, making it the largest diaspora in the world, followed by the Mexicans and the Russians.

A large section of India’s global diaspora has been calling for India to allow dual citizenship. The government of India, in order to cater to some of the demands of Indians living overseas, introduced the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. The OCI has been further streamlined and extensively promoted under the BJP government.

India has emerged as the top source of Australian citizenship, overtaking the United Kingdom, with over 118,000 Indian-born migrants pledging allegiance to Australia since 2013-14. [Note: India has surprised China as the largest immigrant source country in Canada, about 52,000 in 2017, India and Philippines are roughly tied in the number of new Canadian citizens in 2018]

While the OCI allows foreign nationals of Indian origin to live and work in India indefinitely, they can’t vote or contest an election and don’t have the right to own agricultural land in India.

Mr Tharoor argues that the people of Indian origin, many of whom have been highly successful tech-entrepreneurs and quite a few also rose to high public offices overseas, have an important stake in India.

“In the era of globalisation, more people from India will search for opportunities abroad.

“By automatically terminating their Indian citizenship when they seek citizenship of countries of residence, the law effectively cuts them off their roots and makes them feel like they do not have a real stake in their country of origin,” he told the legislators.

Dubai-based policy consultant and writer Mohamed Zeeshan argues that while many Indians acquire citizenship of countries of their residence, they remain strongly committed to their country of origin and spread India’s global influence worldwide.

“The landmark India-US nuclear deal, for instance, was aided in Washington by strong political lobbying from the Indian-American community. In 2011, Indians in Australia helped convince the then Australian government to lift a ban on uranium exports to India,” he writes.

Australian citizenship approvals plunge to 15-year low
While Australian citizenship approvals have fallen to the lowest level since 2002-03, the number of citizenship applications awaiting processing is at a record high with migrants waiting longer than ever before to pledge their allegiance to Australia.

The UAE, the United States and Saudi Arabia are the top three countries of residence for people of Indian origin outside India, together home to about 7.5 million Indians.

According to the 2016 Census, the size of the Indian diaspora in Australia was 619,164. During the five years, from 2013 to 2017, over 118,000 Indian nationals acquired Australian citizenship.

Since then, migration from India to Australia has been on the rise.

Ritesh Chugh, a senior lecturer at the Central Queensland University in Melbourne says it will “open the doors” for many possibilities for Indians and India.

“Indians living abroad are already contributing immensely to India and there’s such an enormous wealth of experience that India can benefit from further. But many see this (not having Indian citizenship) as a big hurdle in making that contribution to the full extent possible,” he told SBS Punjabi.

“For example, at the moment, the research pathways are restricted to citizens alone. If this deterrent is removed, a lot of people would like to go back and work in India as opportunities grow in India,” Mr Chugh said.

According to the Indian Passport Act, it’s an offence not to surrender the Indian passport and formally renounce Indian citizenship after acquiring foreign citizenship, which may attract penalties of up to $1,050.

Source: Bill introduced to allow dual citizenship for Indians

In killing citizenship question, Trump adopts Census Bureau’s preferred solution to a thorny problem

After all the sound and fury, after all the lies and pretence:

President Donald Trump’s decision this afternoon to abandon plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census and instead rely on existing government records to generate citizenship statistics matches the Census Bureau’s preferred option for dealing with the politically explosive issue. It’s also a win for those who have wanted to keep such a charged question off the decennial headcount.

“This is Option C,” says former Census Director John Thompson, referring to a March 2018 memo in which Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross spelled out several options for developing a citizenship tally, and gave his rationale for deciding to include the question on the count that will begin on 1 April. Option C “is what the Census Bureau proposed to Secretary Ross,” adds Thompson, who stepped down in June 2017, a few months after Ross began his clandestine efforts to get the Department of Justice to request the question. Ross eventually chose what he called Option D, a combination of using information already in government agency files, known as administrative records, along with a yes/no question about citizenship on the census questionnaire sent to U.S. households.

The Supreme Court, however, blocked Ross’s decision, saying he had violated administrative law by providing a “contrived” rather than a “genuine” explanation for why he wanted to add the question. Critics of the question say it would have prompted many people living in the United States to decline to answer the census, leading to an undercount of the population, and was motivated by a desire to reduce the political power of regions that tend to support Democratic candidates.

Today, speaking at a hastily arranged one-way press conference in which he took no questions, Trump said he will issue an executive order telling every federal agency to “immediately” provide the Commerce Department with “all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens in our country.” He said the goal is to generate “an accurate count of how many citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens are in the United States of America. Not too much to ask.”

Census experts say that the agency should be able to satisfy the president’s request to develop data on the first two categories – citizens and non-citizens. And the Census Bureau already has agreements with a number of federal and state agencies that allow it to access administrative records that include some citizenship information, according to this 2018 analysis by bureau researchers. But using administrative records to determine the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. is not possible, the experts say. And that’s a good thing, believes Robert Santos, vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.

“What this administration really wanted was a tally of those who are undocumented,” says Santos, who is also president-elect of the American Statistical Association. “But that’s not going to happen. They will fly under the radar.” As a result, he says, “now they can participate in the census without fear” of political repercussions.

It’s also good news for Census Bureau, he adds. Extracting the agency from the bitterly partisan national debate over immigration should allow it to do its job of carrying out a complete and accurate census, he says.

Civil rights groups opposing the question also hailed the president’s decision as a victory but said they hadn’t given up their fight against the administration’s policies. “This is a welcome reprieve of his partisan agenda, and a win for all communities,” says Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference Education Fund in Washington, D.C. “[But] we remain on guard to combat any attempts to sabotage a fair and accurate count.”

Source: In killing citizenship question, Trump adopts Census Bureau’s preferred solution to a thorny problem

And further commentary:

Donald Trump pretended he was doing something meaningful on Thursday after he was forced to cave in on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

But his post-cave bait-and-switch to push an executive order is also going up in flames almost immediately after it was issued.

Page said:

“So just saying it’s not a cave does not make it not a cave. Just the attorney general saying congratulations, Mr. President, does not make it a congratulatory moment. And the executive order, it is not at all clear that it’s necessary to have a new executive order to give publicly available data from federal agencies to the Commerce Department. That would seem to be something that would be easy to do. And in fact, as you noted, the government already calculates the number of illegal immigrants and the number of non-citizens who live in this country, and they’ve done that for some time.”

Trump is pulling out all the distractions after his census cave-in

Donald Trump’s executive order stunt that he announced on Thursday isn’t the only distraction he’s pulling out following his census loss.

It was also reported today that the administration would move forward with its raids on thousands of undocumented migrant families. According to The New York Times, “Nationwide raids to arrest thousands of members of undocumented families have been scheduled to begin Sunday, according to two current and one former homeland security officials.”

The raids, which had been delayed last month due to widespread backlash, will likely separate more families. Even the president’s acting DHS secretary has admitted as much.

Of course, none of these steps are being taken because they are sound policy solutions. They are just the latest in a two-year string of distractions meant to paper over an endless string of policy and political failures from this White House.

Source: Trump’s Citizenship Executive Order Is Already Going Up In Flames

Is Australia headed for another citizenship saga?

Appears not, despite the heade questionr:

Bill Shorten, Jacqui Lambie and Chris Bowen are among a list of more than two dozen politicians who may not be eligible to sit in the Australian parliament.

Legal academics in Western Australia have put the constitution under the microscope and concluded that 26 MPs and senators may fall foul of the nightmarish Section 44(i).

The section disqualifies anyone who holds allegiance to a foreign country from sitting in the federal parliament.

While much of the attention during the 2017-2018 political crisis that claimed 15 scalps centred on the section’s second criteria -which covers the issue of dual citizenship – the third criteria went largely unnoticed.

‘Right of abode’ in UK

This disqualifies anyone from sitting in parliament if they are entitled to the rights and privileges of citizens of a foreign power.

This means that Australians born before January 1, 1983, to a British parent, probably still hold a ‘right of abode’ in the United Kingdom – which confers almost all the rights and privileges of a full British citizen.

‘We seem to have only scratched the surface.’

“While many Australians perhaps hoped that multiple High Court decisions and resulting by-elections would mean that the country could put the parliamentary eligibility crisis behind it, instead we seem to have only scratched the surface,” says legal academic Lorraine Finlay.

Finlay is co-author of the paper But Wait…There’s More: The Ongoing Complexities of Section 44(I), published in the University of Western Australia Law Review.

At the very least, says Finlay, the third criteria is “significantly more ambiguous” than the second.

Allegiance

And she says it would be up to the High Court to determine if the rights conferred on an Australian holding a right of abode in the UK are significant enough to create an “imputed sense of allegiance”.

Any member of a Commonwealth nation, who holds the right of abode in the UK, is free to enter and exit the UK “without hindrance”, as well as to work, study, apply for welfare, vote and stand for public office in the country.

Finlay says it is interesting to note that the rights afforded to European Union citizens in the UK are “distinct” and lesser than those afforded to Commonwealth Citizens with the right of abode in the UK.

After examining the parliamentary citizenship register, Finlay concludes there are at least 26 current parliamentarians who potentially could have the right of abode in the UK, based on the information they have provided on their British family history.

Australian politicians dual citizenship list

LABOR (14)

  • Bill Shorten (Vic), Chris Bowen (NSW), Mark Butler (SA), Nick Champion (SA), Lisa Chesters (Vic), Pat Conroy (NSW), Alexander Gallacher (SA), Katy Gallagher (ACT), Andrew Giles (Vic), Madeleine King (WA), Susan Lines (WA), Brian Mitchell (Tas), Louise Pratt (WA) and Glenn Sterle (WA).

LIBERAL (5)

  • John Alexander (NSW), Angie Bell (Qld), Ben Morton (WA), Dean Smith (WA) and Alan Tudge (Vic).

NATIONAL (3)

  • George Christensen (Qld), Patrick Conaghan (NSW) and Perin Davey (NSW).

GREENS (2)

  • Adam Bandt (Vic) and Rachel Siewart (WA).

OTHER (2)

  • One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts (Qld) and independent Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie.

Challenge unlikely

For any of the above to be ruled ineligible, they would have to be challenged in the parliament and referred to the High Court.

With 14 under a cloud, it’s safe to assume Labor will let sleeping dogs lie.

And while a challenge could be to the coalition’s advantage, the Liberals and Nationals might feel the brunt of a backlash if it forces voters back to the polls for another slew of by-elections.

Finlay concludes that an examination of eligibility in light of the Commonwealth right of abode is therefore unlikely to go any further.

“(But) it demonstrates that there may still be a significant number of current Australian parliamentarians who are not actually eligible to sit in the parliament,” she says.

“Clarifying the scope and reach of section 44(i) is essential to maintain public confidence in the legitimacy of the current Australia Parliament, and also to avoid uncertainty with regards to future elections.”

Source: Is Australia headed for another citizenship saga?

Latest Danish citizenship test has one-in-two pass rate

In contrast, when the Conservative government changed the knowledge test by increasing the required pass mark from 60 to 75 percent, rotated questions to reduce cheating along with a new citizenship guide (Discover Canada), all pre-C-24, the rate dropped to close to 80 percent from 96 percent.

Adjustments and changes were made subsequently that resulted in a pass rate of about 90 percent last time I checked.

Canadian citizenship tests are largely designed to facilitate citizenship, Danish ones to make it harder:

At a 52.77 percent pass rate, the success ratio for those hoping to become Danish nationals was slightly lower than the previous test in November 2018, which saw 53.48 percent pass.

A total of 3,502 people took the June 6th test at 52 language centres across Denmark, according to figures released by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration.

Since 2015, the Danish citizenship test (indfødsretsprøven), held twice annually, has consisted of 40 multiple choice questions on Danish culture, history and society. The pass mark is 32.

The pass rate for the test, for which the registration fee is currently 783 kroner, generally hovers around the 50 percent mark.

Passing the test is a prerequisite for all applicants for Danish citizenship. The content and difficulty level of the exam is monitored by the immigration ministry’s International Recruitment and Integration Board (Styrelsen for International Rekruttering og Integration, SIRI).

“It makes me very happy to see that foreigners who live here in Denmark want to become Danish citizens. Congratulations to those who passed the test – they are now one step closer to becoming citizens,” Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye said in a ministry press release.

“They have shown the will and motivation to learn about our culture, history and democratic system. Citizenship brings with it many new rights, but also an obligation to protect Denmark and help to build our lovely little country,” Tesfaye added.

The next citizenship test will take place on November 27th.

Source: Latest Danish citizenship test has one-in-two pass rate

Québec élargit l’accès à la francisation pour les immigrants

Noteworthy in the background of Bill 21 discrimination and the reduction in immigration levels:

Davantage d’immigrants auront accès à la francisation et ils seront mieux compensés pour se présenter en classe, a annoncé cet avant-midi le ministre de l’Immigration.

Cet élargissement du programme est permis par un investissement supplémentaire de 70 millions décidé par le gouvernement.

« Au Québec, les personnes immigrantes doivent évoluer en français, a dit le ministre Simon Jolin-Barrette en conférence de presse au centre-ville de Montréal. C’est pourquoi nous devons mettre en place le meilleur système possible pour favoriser la francisation. »

Parmi les mesures annoncées :

• L’allocation pour les étudiants en francisation à temps plein passera à 185 $ par semaine (contre 141 $ actuellement)

• Les étudiants en francisation à temps partiel recevront une allocation de 15 $ par jour (contre 0 $ actuellement)

• Les frais de garde de ces derniers seront remboursés à hauteur de 9 $ par jour (contre 7 $ actuellement).

• Les étudiants étrangers et les travailleurs temporaires auront aussi accès à la francisation.

Par ailleurs, tous les Québécois d’adoption auront accès à la francisation, peu importe depuis combien de temps ils sont installés dans la province. Jusqu’à maintenant, seuls les immigrants arrivés depuis moins de cinq ans y avaient droit.

« En donnant la possibilité à toutes les personnes immigrantes de se franciser, nous améliorons leurs chances de se trouver un emploi correspondant à leurs compétences et à répondre aux besoins du marché du travail », a dit le ministre Jolin-Barrette. « L’immigration est l’une des solutions à la pénurie de main-d’oeuvre. »

Accueil positif

Des organismes actifs dans le domaine de la francisation se sont dits satisfaits des annonces du ministre, cet avant-midi.

« C’étaient des revendications qu’on faisait depuis de nombreuses années, a fait valoir Pablo Altamirano, directeur de l’Alliance pour l’accueil et l’intégration des immigrations. L’allocation pour les étudiants à temps partiel va aider énormément pour l’assiduité des étudiants : les gens ne pouvaient pas toujours se déplacer à cause du coût des transports. »

Anait Aleksanin, du Centre d’appui aux communautés immigrantes, s’est aussi réjouie de l’annonce. « C’est une très bonne nouvelle. Il y a beaucoup de mesures qu’on attendait depuis longtemps », a-t-elle dit.

La Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec a accueilli positivement l’annonce, particulièrement en ce qui a trait aux cours de francisation à temps partiel. « Les nouveaux arrivants pourront mettre leurs compétences à contribution plus rapidement, en plus de mettre en pratique leur apprentissage du français au quotidien, avec leurs collègues de travail », a déclaré le grand patron de l’organisation, Stéphane Forget, via communiqué.

La Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ) s’est montrée plus ambivalente : elle a salué les améliorations annoncées, mais aimerait voir davantage de francisation dans les milieux de travail.

« Il faut que les travailleurs et travailleuses puissent être libérés de leurs tâches pendant les heures de travail afin de pouvoir assister à des cours de francisation tout en étant rémunérés », a indiqué la centrale syndicale dans un communiqué. « C’est un gros pari que de penser qu’après leur journée de travail, ces travailleurs […] vont être prédisposés à se déplacer pour aller suivre une formation en français. »

Source: Québec élargit l’accès à la francisation pour les immigrants

Citizenship question causing an uproar in U.S. has been part of Canada’s census since 1901

Politicization and weaponization in contrast to the more neutral approach in Canada:

A politically divisive debate continues to rage over U.S. President Donald Trump’s push to add a citizenship question to the U.S. census. That same question has been part of Canada’s census form for over a century without a ripple.

Trump has been waging a fierce fight to add the controversial query to the 2020 census, and said Friday he’s now considering an executive order to get it done after a Supreme Court ruling blocked his efforts.

Canada’s own long form census asks: “Of what country is this person a citizen?” Respondents have a choice of three possible answers: ‘Canada, by birth,’ ‘Canada, by naturalization’ or ‘Other country – specify.’

A spokeswoman for Statistics Canada, which manages the census, said the citizenship data is vital to various programs.

“The citizenship question has a long history on the Canadian census, being introduced for the first time on the 1901,” said Emily Theelen in an email.

“This information is used to estimate the number of potential voters and to plan citizenship classes and programs. It also provides information about the population with multiple citizenships and the number of immigrants in Canada who hold Canadian citizenship.”

Theelen said Statistics Canada’s data quality assessment indicators have not flagged any issues specifically related to the citizenship question. The Library of Parliament could not find any significant debate, controversy or court case related to the inclusion of a citizenship question on the Canadian census form.

In the U.S., the Republican administration’s push has triggered a partisan firestorm because of the enormous political stakes.

The once-a-decade population count determines the distribution of seats in the House of Representatives among the states, and the disbursement of about $675 billion in federal funding.

Disadvantage for Democrats

The Census Bureau’s own experts have said the question would discourage immigrants from participating in the census, which would result in a less-accurate census. That, say critics, would redistribute money and political power away from Democrat-led urban districts — where immigrants tend to cluster — and toward whiter, rural areas where Republicans do well.

Immigration lawyer Lorne Waldman said the political and electoral landscape in Canada is drastically different from the one in the U.S. and would not allow for that kind of “gerrymandering” — the manipulation of electoral boundaries to favour one party over others.

“In Canada, we have an impartial electoral commission that redistributes the electoral boundaries according to the law based on objective criteria,” he said. “It’s not an issue here at all, because we don’t have that kind of gerrymandering that they have in the U.S.”

No sign of abuse in Canada

Waldman said it’s possible a census result showing a high percentage of undocumented people in a specific region of the U.S. could lead to stepped-up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) patrols there.

Up to now, there has been no evidence that census information has been abused in that way in Canada.

The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it will continue to look for legal grounds to include the question on the census, but it did not say what options it’s considering.

The U.S. government already has begun the process of printing the census questionnaire without the citizenship question, but Trump suggested Friday that officials might be able to add the citizenship query to the questionnaire after it’s been printed.

In the Supreme Court’s decision last week, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal members in saying the administration’s justification for adding the question “seems to have been contrived.”

The Trump administration has said the question was being added to aid in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters’ access to the ballot box.

Canada conducts a census every four years. The next census is due in 2020.

Source: Citizenship question causing an uproar in U.S. has been part of Canada’s census since 1901

How The U.S. Citizenship Oath Came To Be What It Is Today

But while the 1790 naturalization law established a framework for becoming a citizen, it didn’t implement a standard oath for the country, leaving the naturalization process varied from state to state for more than 100 years.

With no uniform process in place, a presidential commission was created in 1905 to study how to reform the country’s naturalization process.

“Due to the high number of immigrants from all different locations spreading through all over and across the U.S., by then there was as many as 5,000 courts with naturalization jurisdiction, and each of these courts had developed its own processes for administering the oath,” Wang says.

Many of the commission’s recommendations were included in the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. While the recommendations still didn’t lead to a standardized oath, at this point the decision was made to include language about defending “the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” according to the USCIS website.

It wasn’t until 1929 that the oath’s text was standardized. For much of the next two decades, the oath stayed the same. But with the U.S. facing a growing threat from the Soviet Union, the oath was amended in 1952 to emphasize service to country.

“There was an intent to make it more explicit that in becoming a citizen of the United States that you are also explicitly going to take action in defending this country when asked to,” Wang says.

The three major changes, Wang says, included, “adding [a part] around bearing arms on behalf of the United States when required … performing noncombatant services in the armed forces when required, and then the final one was added around performing work of national importance under civilian direction.”

These changes still exist in the oath used today.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Wang has gone to many naturalization ceremonies and has heard the oath recited many times, including by his own parents. No matter how often he hears those 140 words, he says, they still have emotional significance to him.

“Words matter, and when you hear people say this, each of them are doing what my parents did, which is actually give up part of their identity,” he says. “Something that they grew up with. Something that their family is.”

As people take the oath, they are often embracing a new identity and completing a journey that has lasted years and possibly even decades, Wang says.

“It truly is something that matters deeply to each and every one of the individuals that say it,” he says. “So when you see the tears on their faces, you can’t help but feel them welling up in your own.”

Source: How The U.S. Citizenship Oath Came To Be What It Is Today