The Census, Citizenship and the Question

The Census, Citizenship and the Question

The Census, Citizenship and the Question

Not a week goes by without the Democrats being in an uproar about something coming from the White House. The latest is the inclusion of a question on the 2020 census about whether or not the respondents are citizens or not. Oh, the gnashing of teeth. Oh, the wails of outrage. All over a single question about whether or not members of a household are citizens or not.

Citizen.

That is the important word to keep in mind. Nowhere is there any indication the Administration has asked for, much less received, the okay to ask if people are here legally or illegally. The question is simple: are you a citizen or not.

Why ask this?

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of the Department of Commerce, says the information will be used to help track “alleged or suspected” violations of the Voting Rights Act. One would think that reason enough for any politician to at least consider returning the question to the questionnaire. But no, the howls of outrage have been sounding for months, long before the media really picked up the story and ran with it.

Earlier this year, the New York Times tried its own version of scare tactics by claiming the inclusion of the question could, and quite possibly would, be bad for our health. Yes, you read that right. By asking a single question – are you a citizen – our health would be detrimentally impacted. Apparently asking the question might prevent non-citizens, “even those in the country legally”, not to answer for fear that doing so could expose them, or their family, to deportation.

Following this logic, if you can call it that, the NYT believes those in the country legally might be afraid that answering they aren’t citizens could, and possibly would, lead to their deportation. What? If someone is in the country legally and if that person is answering a government required questionnaire, they aren’t going to be deported for answering honestly a question that has no impact on their immigration status.

After that lapse of logic, the NYT continued with its scare tactics by pointing out that data is the life’s blood of scientific research. If people are afraid to answer the questionnaire, our medical professionals will lack data they need to determine the “validity of the next decade of health statistics and programs.”

Fear. That seems to be the basis of the NYT’s objection to the question. Logical or not, they latched onto it and began to do their best to spread it. They’ve been joined over the last 24 hours by others in the media and Democratic politicians around the nation.

Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, addressed the issue and called the inclusion of the question “a scare tactic to try to scare Latinos and others from participating in the 2020 census.” Others argue that the inclusion of the question will lead to an undercount of voting age residents and that, in turn, could lead to the loss of representation in Congress.

“The question is unnecessarily intrusive and will raise concerns in all households – native- and foreign-born, citizen and non-citizen – about the confidentiality of information provided to the government and how government authorities may use that information,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Wait? What? How is that question any more intrusive than some of the others that are asked and why would anyone who is here legally be upset by it being asked?

There’s the key word in this whole thing. “Legally.” Those opposing the question claim it is illegal to ask if someone is a citizen of this country.


Instead of addressing the real issues surrounding the immigration issue, politicians would rather complain about a question on the census. States like California are suing to prevent the question from being included. They hang their justification for such action on the possibility that the response rate to the census “might” be lower. According to them, it is illegal for the government to ask if respondents are citizens. Now, following this logic (and I use that term loosely), wouldn’t it be illegal for the federal government to enforce immigration laws? Oh, wait, there are those who feel that way already. Silly me.

The census is designed to gather data. This data is used for more than simply determining representation in Congress. It is used, as noted earlier, for public health. It is used to help determine funding for certain projects, many of which impact the nation’s infrastructure. For data to be effective, it needs to include as many factors as possible. So why not ask about whether someone is a citizen or not? Remember, the question isn’t if a person is here illegally. It is if they are a citizen.

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15 Comments
  • SED says:

    There are so many illegal aliens here, most of which follow Lib logic rather than yours (unfortunately), there is no doubt many will not participate in the census. Just how many MORE will not participate than those who would not participate anyway is impossible to tell.

    Does anybody really think that all or even most illegals would let themselves be identified by the government in this way anyway? For years, decades, Dims have been struggling to include as many non-citizens as absolutely possible in the census, and increase the influence non-citizens have on our culture and values. This will not help. Dims are not happy.

    Good..

  • GWB says:

    Fear. That seems to be the basis of the NYT’s objection to the question.
    Well, it’s what they want to be the basis for everyone else’s objection to it.
    Their objection is that it simply will not support their continued attempts to make the non-political class into the serfs the political class thinks they deserve.

    This is a really idiotic objection to make. But someone somewhere will uphold it and make the run-up to the census into a total fiasco.

  • ZZMike says:

    The Census aw says they must count people: “A census is the periodic official count of the number of persons and their condition and of the resources of a country.” I don’t know how the “resources” part is counted (“how many oil wells are in your back yard?”?) “Condition” could include citizenship; it certainly includes gender and how many bathrooms are in your house.
    California is so transparent about their objection: they don’t want anyone to know how many illegals are in the state.
    PS: replying to the census is not an option. We return it or else.

  • Scott says:

    “director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund” What in the name od sweet baby Jesus is that crap????

  • Wyldkat says:

    Something they are so casually ignoring, the question was on the census up until 2010. So this is not a new question, it is simply putting it back in.

    Of course I am waiting for someone to protest the gender question since it lists male or female.

    • Amanda Green says:

      I have seen conflicting information on that. Some sources say it was there until 2010, some say it was removed at the 1940 census and others say it has been sort of hit-or-miss over the years as to whether it’s asked or not. And yeah, I’m wondering how long until the male/female question is objected to as well.

  • Joshua K. says:

    There was an article in the New York Times earlier this week in which two undocumented immigrants were quoted as saying that they would refuse to participate in the 2020 census because of the citizenship question.

    Both of those individuals were willing to disclose their first and last names, their ages, their occupations, their home countries, and the fact that they were illegal aliens to a reporter, all of which was published in one of the country’s largest newspapers and distributed worldwide online — but when it came to the census, then they became concerned about their immigration status being known. That seemed somewhat ironic to me.

    • GWB says:

      It smells of bullcrap to me. I bet they’ll participate – and simply check the citizenship box. After all, you’re already breaking loads of laws, what’s one more?

      Oh, and I would love to see ICE investigate them – if they really are here illegally, a raid and a nice perp walk (so folks like Fox, who are still somewhat interested in being actual news organizations, can do a side-by-side with their interview and their arrest), followed by expulsion (and NO release until in their home countries), would be a pleasant moment to me.

      “What? Them? Well, they self-reported, so we just made sure it wasn’t a prank and did what the law requires us to do.”

      • Amanda Green says:

        We wouldn’t see it, at least not unless they could claim ICE was in some way acting above and beyond the scope of their duties. It’s like the article I saw today where one of the news agencies — can’t remember which one just now — was trying to make a big deal out of the fact ICE wasn’t going to deport one of the last, if not the last, surviving Nazi “war criminal”. Yet, boo hoo, they would go after the man who had been here illegally from Mexico for 10 years or whatever. The writer of the article didn’t even see the irony of him wanting special treatment for Hispanics but not for someone of European origin.

    • Amanda Green says:

      We never said they had to make sense, did we? VBEG

  • Cloudbuster says:

    The census isn’t going to require them to prove citizenship, so it is not clear to me why anyone who is willing to break our immigration laws would not be willing to lie on the census.

  • benning says:

    Wasn’t that very question in the Census prior to 2010? Wasn’t it the Obama Misadministration that decided to ax it? And go forth with ‘sampling’?

  • […] The Census, Citizenship and the Question Not a week goes by without the Democrats being in an uproar about something coming from the White House. The latest is the inclusion of a question on the 2020 census about whether or not the respondents are citizens or not. Oh, the gnashing of teeth. Oh, the wails of outrage. All over a single question about whether or not members of a household are citizens or not. […]

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