Census Citizen Question Quarrel Percolates

By Thomas J. Edwards

If Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has his way, the question of a person’s citizenship will not appear on the 2020 U.S. Census form. Liberals, Democrats and the Left are pulling out all stops to prevent the question of one’s citizenship appearing on the form for the first time since 1950.

The attack on the Commerce Department’s decision to add the question to the census form is coming from several fronts. The move approved by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in March 2018 triggered a lawsuit from 18 state attorneys general led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. All are Democrats.

A San Francisco federal judge began a trial on the issue January 7 and a New York trial is scheduled for later this year. The U.S Supreme Court will hear arguments February 19 over what evidence can be considered in a challenge mounted by state and local governments and immigrant rights groups that want to expose the decision-making process.

Why the Leftwing bitterness? Much of this nation’s welfare is funneled to those states showing the highest population numbers, divided among the most populated congressional districts. State and local governments where most of the illegal immigrants and refugees that have flooded into this country have been located fear that requiring citizenship information will skew their population counts and deny them federal welfare subsidies.

Challengers to the Census decision insist a citizenship question could affect the political and financial clout of immigrant clusters for the next decade by prompting many illegal aliens to avoid being counted under fear they would be rounded up and deported. That could cause parts of the country with the largest concentrations of illegals, mostly in states dominated by Democrats such as California and New York, to be undercounted. The result would be loss of federal money and seats in Congress.

That dilemma was made clear in legal challenges from the City of San Jose, California and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, That case, now being heard in San Francisco, will argue claims that the citizenship question was politically motivated out of the White House to discourage immigrants and Latinos from participating in the Census.

The addition of the Census question followed a study disclosure there may have been as many as 5.7 million non-citizens who voted in the 2008 election won by Barack Obama. That study by New Jersey research group Just Facts bolstered President Donald Trump’s claim that more than 3 million illegal-alien voters cost him the popular vote in the 2016 election — most of those votes coming from California.

Just Facts analysis of the 2012 elections, which re-elected Obama, showed that 3.2 million to 5.6 million non-citizens were registered to vote and 1.2 million to 3.6 million of them voted. Attempts to formally investigate the findings were immediately quashed in the states where Democrats hold political sway, the same states where activists rally to halt any attempt to require legal identification to vote and where attempts are made to investigate voter rolls to purge non-citizen registrants.

During the eight years of the Obama administration, the Justice Department blocked every attempt by states to pass voter ID registration or require proof of citizenship despite evidence the practice of registering non-citizens to vote is real. In just one small sample, he Public Interest Law Foundation obtained voter registration records from eight of Virginia’s 133 cities and counties in a state that has quickly changed from Republican to Democrat. The study discovered that 1,046 illegal aliens were register to vote in those eight communities in violation of the law.

Rep. Cummings’ interest in the question likely stems from the impact it would have on his impoverished Baltimore district that is home to a large number of immigrants. He now has the political clout as chairman of the House Oversight Committee to makes things happen. At stake is more than $700 billion in federal subsidies funneled through 70 welfare programs that consider population when calculating their funding levels. Inclusion of the question on the Census form could also jeopardize the boundary lines of, Cummings’ district and the apportionment several districts across the country in the next decade.

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