The Question of Citizenship in the Census: An Analysis and Perspective

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census be taken every 10 years to count all people, both citizens and non-citizens living in the U.S. April 1, 2020 is officially Census Day with notices and forms starting to arrive in the mail in March 2020. For households that don’t respond, non-response follow-up begins in April 2020 and ends in July 2020. If you don’t respond, the Census Bureau will send up to five mailings to your address and an enumerator to your door. File photo.

NEW YORK, NY – The appropriateness or legality of a citizenship inquiry or question in the census was first proposed by President Trump. The President decided against pursuing the matter after the Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the Supreme Court’s four liberals to block the proposed citizenship question from the census. This was a victory for the Democrats. It was warned by so-called experts that the question could have resulted in a lower response among non citizens and Latinos. The question was seen as a way to under-count heavily minority Latino states and favoring the Republicans in redistricting.

The census is supposed to count every person residing in the US, citizens and non-citizen, legal permanent residents, and the state results can determine how many seats each state gets in the House and for population-based federal funding formulas. Many versions of the census have included this question which was on the long form survey from 1960 to 2000 and again the question was used by the American Community Survey in 2010. The left argued, as usual, that the question was anti-immigration on the part of the President and the left argued the question would stoke fear among immigrants, mostly Latino, scaring them off with the result of an under-count and loss of seats for the Democrats.

I am in no position to criticize the United States Supreme Court and I obey and respect its decisions completely and in their entirety. However, I question and find lacking strength the arguments raised concerning the question and its rejection by some in our system and in our society. Should non-citizens be counted or, better put, those who are illegally here and defying our system of law and overtly manipulating our system, be counted with our hard-working citizens who through their entire lives have obeyed and abide by the law? One who is illegally here has no status in our system until they correct their status and obtain citizenship.

In the first place, those illegally here should have come here through the available legal avenues as, for hundreds of years, thousands have entered through the legal avenue and process on Ellis Island. Moreover, past censuses have included this question. It is clear by any chain of reasoning and logic that those who are here as law breakers and law violators have no place in being counted in the census which is supposed to count citizens and non-citizens, legal residents – not criminals who should not be here in the first place and should be subject to the forces of our legal system whatever they are.

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The bogus argument that the question would result in fear among unauthorized immigrants carries no weight with these so-called immigrants; if they were not in violation of the law would have no fear and nothing to be afraid of. Their fear is real since they know they are violating the law and they have no right to be here, and make use of our employment system, medical facilities, and educational system. Citizenship is a privilege and a right and those who make no effort to obey the law in this respect, in my view, deserve no consideration and should not be counted as a factor in forming our national government funding or seating in the House. The census is a legal process to count, as stated, citizens and non-citizens, not persons who have no legal place in our which is a system of law.

As a Christian, I have as much concern and love for humanity as any of us, but decline to exercise concern and love for one who signally lacks love or any sort of loyalty to our system and are fully out for themselves to the extent they can continue to get away with what they can. I am indebted to much of the content in this article to an story in Vox called “Trump’s Census Citizenship Question Fiasco Explained.”

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