Politics / We The People

Census Must Abide Constitution – Asking Citizenship Key

census liberals

How complex can simple things get – or be made? How convoluted must the left make American life, before we all fall down laughing, or crying? The latest test of America’s patience, prudence, and common sense comes in the form of a challenge to the standard ten-year Census. The US Supreme Court needs to stop this challenge cold.

Under the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, a census is to be held every ten years. The reason for that provision is to identify how many “citizens” reside in each state, and from that assessment to “apportion” seats to the US House of Representatives. Simple, right? The more “citizens” per state, the more seats will be “apportioned” to that state, versus all the other states.

Of course, how this process is conducted is important – since it affects the sovereignty of our country. Only citizens of a country are allowed to vote, or the country has no sovereignty. Citizenship is and was based on being born in the United States or being proper naturalized, which involves mastering language, history, and civic duties of citizenship. 

And that is why, from 1820 through 2000, with the exception of one decennial period, our US Census has included a question on citizenship. If we are going to base our entire electoral system – including US House members apportioned by state and within the Electoral College, which picks presidents – on how many citizens each state has, we need to know if the respondent is a citizen. Right? Common sense. 

However, during the Obama years, a change was made – omitting that citizenship question. The public rationale involved – like attacking “enumeration” versus “sampling” in an earlier era – the fact that census numbers also support other kinds of apportionment. Specifically, how much federal aid goes to States is calculated on census numbers. Thus States – like California, New York, Illinois, and Florida – with high numbers of non-citizens (which tend to drive up social costs) have long wanted to “game” the census and include non-citizens in the overall “tally.”

This is transparently unconstitutional, and so should be easily set aside. Just as the constitution requires “enumeration” (which means actual counting, not sampling and guesswork subject to manipulation), the Constitution also requires those counted be citizens. More, enforcing statutory assurances of fairness within the process – including the Voting Rights Act – requires knowing how many citizens (not non-citizens) reside within each state.

That is why the Secretary of Commerce in the Trump Administration, which manages the Census Bureau, planned to return to our two-hundred-year practice of asking a “citizenship” question on the 2020 Census. And on the left, that is why all hell broke loose – as the Administration tries to keep the nation’s sovereignty intact, and preserve the integrity of our voting system, which really means of our Republic. They sued to stop the question from being included, and in a clutter-headed opinion, a lower federal court granted the left its wish – and blocked the citizenship question. 

That, in turn, is why the Trump Administration is formally asking the US Supreme Court to weigh in – now – and to allow return to American history, traditional Census practice, and enforcement of constitutional and statutory requirements. That is why the Justice Department is asking the US Supreme Court to expedite review, permitting the Administration – just like all prior administrations – to place a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. 

Ironically, America’s presently divided political climate – and a growing propensity for voter fraud, including by allowing illegal aliens – makes this especially relevant at this time in American history. Knowing exactly how many citizens – not non-citizens – reside in each state is critically important, as a proper calculation will affect how many House seats states get – including those states heavy on giving “sanctuary” to illegal aliens.

By most estimates, illegal aliens in the United States now number between 11 and 25 million.  Accordingly, as a matter of common sense, the threat to our Republic’s voting system is real, and requires real protections – including a high integrity Census. 

Those who argue the other side, who do not want to see the traditional “citizenship” question on this census do so for highly suspect reasons. Yes, they may get more federal benefits if they can successfully fudge the truth, and boost numbers. Yes, the question may cause some who would claim citizenship falsely not to complete the form. Yes, some motivation for illegal aliens not completing the Census form may be fear of being outed and deported. But none of these reasons justifies – or begins to justify – not including the question.

Behind all this, deep in the political shadows, is another motivation. The Democrats seem to believe that illegal aliens – more than half of whom live in Democrat-heavy “sanctuary” cities and states – will vote Democrat. Here, the left is probably right. Since these individuals find a way into our elections, and the Democrat party has made a point of catering to their entitlement – and apparently opposes a border security wall for that reason – the reality is stark: Leaders in the Democrat party appear to oppose the common sense, historical, longstanding “citizenship” question – to boost their own voting numbers, to quietly grease the skids for more House seats in “sanctuary” or hide-out states. 

The come-back, of course, is high emotion on the left – as always. They shout and holler that anyone wanting to ask about citizenship is a racist, anti-immigrant (which is ironic, since naturalized citizens are often loudest proponents of citizenship requirements and assimilation), decry the inhumanity of Republicans, and assert that there is minimal voter fraud by illegal aliens. As the Founders brilliantly foresaw – and books have been written on this – states or political parties might someday try to “game the system” by importing non-citizens, which is why they insisted on full “enumeration” of “citizens,” and why the question has been asked with nearly unbroken rigor since 1820. The integrity of our citizenship process, electoral process and the Republic are paramount – and that has nothing to do with unjustified discrimination, wishing to discourage legal immigration or inhumanity. Period.

And on the question of voter fraud, there is no time like the present to make the point – and powerfully. Last week, putting a cherry on top of the legal argument for the US Supreme Court, the Texas Attorney General concluded an investigation that “discovered 95,000 non-citizens on the voter rolls, going back to 1996 … of whom 58,000 have voted in one Texas election.” Do we need more reason than that?  The process depends on knowing who is a citizen, insisting that only citizens vote, and enforcing rule of law – including both the US Constitution’s reliance on citizenship and statutory provisions within the constitutional framework. 

Now, all that needs to be done is for Americans to value citizenship highly, borders and electoral process to be properly protected, and US Supreme Court to let our 2020 Census go forward – doing what all but one Census from 1820 to now has done, ask a citizenship question. The absurdities on the political left keep coming, and do threaten to overtake us, but if we keep our heads, maintain fidelity to history, truth and honor, we will be fine – We, the  People – We, the current crop of American citizens. Our obligation is to stay true to the Constitution.  It is no more complicated than that.

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