The Justice Department wants to add a question on the 2020 Census that is making liberals freak out.
They argue the single question would “threaten participation” and affect allocation of money, resources, and congressional seats.
The question is pretty simple: Are you a US citizen?
Last month, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Census Bureau telling them to reinstate a question in the upcoming census.
“This data is critical to the Department’s enforcement of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and its important protections against racial discrimination in voting,” the department explained. “To fully enforce those requirements, the Department needs a reliable calculation of the citizen voting-age population in localities where voting rights violations are alleged or suspected.”
Of course, there was immediate pushback from the bureaucrats at the Census Bureau and our Democratic friends.
Civil rights advocates and a group of Democratic senators said that connecting whether or not someone is a US citizen to voter fraud is unfounded.
“The inclusion of a question on citizenship threatens to undermine the accuracy of the Census as a whole, and given this administration’s rhetoric and actions relating to immigrants and minority groups, the DOJ request is deeply troubling,” the senators wrote in a letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Almost $700 billion in federal funding relies on information obtained from the census, not including congressional allocation. The Census Act requires that all questions asked fulfill a purpose.
“If the Census Bureau or the administration can establish that there is a legal requirement, a requirement in law for citizenship data for the smallest levels of geography, then that would be justification for asking every household about the citizenship status of household members but no such law exists right now,” Terri Ann Lowenthal, an independent consultant and leading expert on census issues, told The Atlantic.
The bureau sends a final list of questions which are tested beforehand. Congress must approve the fonal questions.
Here’s the catch: congressional apportionment is based on population, not voters, or voting-age population or even citizens, but total population. So an inaccurate count would affect how House seats are distributed.
Leftists argue that a question asking the citizenship of people will keep people from participating and reduce the population of states and districts with high numbers of “non-citizens.”
Conservatives and anti-illegal immigration groups say that the non-citizen population confers an unfair advantage on Democrats.
“If 50 percent of the illegal alien population resides in California and we’re not differentiating them in the census and we’re basing apportionment in the census on those figures, then some states are losing representation while others are overrepresented,” said Chris Chmielenski, the director of content and activism at Numbers USA, which supports reduced immigration. Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa, an ardent opponent of mass immigration in the House, expressed support for the DOJ’s request, arguing that it would benefit his state: “In districts like Maxine Waters, who only needs about 40,000 votes to get reelected in her district and it takes me over 120,000 in mine because hers is loaded with illegals and mine only has a few.”
We will see what Congress says, but for once, we might have an accurate count of the non-citizens in the country.