The Trump administration’s plan to count citizens, rather than residents, had created fears of data misuse. A plan similar to the NRC in India.
US President Joe Biden, on his first day in office, dismantled a number of Donald Trump-era policies. Joe Biden’s government sees these policies as the most “dangerous”. One of the 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations signed revoked Trump’s decision to exclude non-citizens from the US Census count.
This means that though they have their focus on national security, particularly after the 9/11 attack, the US will also be like any other country that does not maintain a list of its citizens, and does not know how many of its residents are citizens.
The Trump administration’s plan to count citizens, rather than residents, had created fears of data misuse – similar to those in India who believe the Narendra Modi government’s plan to initiate a National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be misused to target minority communities, particularly Muslims.
In mid 2019, the US Supreme Court had asked the Trump government to give an explanation as to why a question on citizenship had been added to the census questionnaire. The court said that it was not happy with the explanation and said that until the government provided a better explanation, it could not implement the change.
The US had government claimed that the database of citizens would help implement the Voting Rights Act. The similar kind of explanation was given by the Indian government’s claiming that the NPR and NRC would improve the delivery of welfare schemes. Though the statements were made by leaders in both governments, serious doubts had been raised on the authenticity of their intentions.