On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union made good on their threat and filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over plans to include a new question on the 2020 Census: Specifically, one which would ascertain whether or not the respondent is a U.S. citizen. According to the left, of which the ACLU is an undeniable agent, this question is somehow unconstitutional and unfair and will lead to an unreliable count in the next Census.
“Manipulating the census to discriminate against and disadvantage certain groups violates both the Fifth Amendment right to equal protection and the constitutional obligation that the census counts every living person in the United States, not just every citizen,” writes Ceridwen Cherry, one of the ACLU’s staff attorneys. “Lower response rates will be catastrophic for communities and states with large immigrant populations. As a result of an undercounting of their residents, states may lose seats in Congress and crucial federal funding that is tied to census results.
“The 2020 census data will also be used by states to draw congressional and state legislative districts,” Cherry continues. “Depressing census response rates in already underrepresented communities will allow politicians to draw even more skewed legislative districts and further dilute the political power of these communities. That result plays directly into a longstanding Trump administration plan to exclude non-citizens when apportioning legislative districts as a way to further strip the political power of immigrant communities.
Welp, there’s a lot to unpack there, so let’s get started.
By asking the citizenship question, the Census will not count everyone, she claims This cannot be proven by any means other than actually taking the Census and comparing it to the last one. You certainly cannot claim that adding a question like this to the survey results in an automatic violation of the census’s purpose.
But let’s get into what Cherry calls the “catastrophic” effects of an undercount. She claims that states with large illegal immigrant populations will lose federal funds and seats in Congress. To that we can only say: YES. That’s exactly what SHOULD happen! In fact, Alabama is right now filing suit on the very premise that it is monstrously unfair that states like California should continue to soak up constitutional representation from other states merely because they refuse to enforce federal immigration law. And they have a damn good point. If you want to invite every illegal in the Southern Hemisphere to live in your states, YOU find a way to pay for it!
There is no reason that “immigrant communities” (meaning those who are here illegally) should have any political power at all – certainly, this consideration should not prevent the U.S. government from asking a simple question on the Census. Citizenship means something. To the ACLU and the immigrant-rights activists and their Democratic Party friends in Washington, the difference between “citizen” and “illegal immigrant” is negligible. And they are on a full campaign to erase the distinction both culturally and legally.
If we want to keep this country sane, whole, and successful, we cannot and must not let them win.