California, New York, and the Shameless Double Standards of Census Politics
America’s most liberal states, New York and California, are suing the Federal government out of fear that illegal immigrants scared to disclose the status of their citizenship will abscond from the census. They fear this will decrease their number of United States Representatives and federal funds allocated to their particular state.
The crux of their suit is that the “political” atmosphere of the census makes asking these types of questions unlawful. Or, to put it another way, we do not like the executive who has been tasked with carrying out the census, so we would rather have it not be enforced at his discretion.
With the exception of the 2010 census under Barack Obama, every census conducted in the U.S used a long form questionnaire for 1 of every 6 American families, which included a question about one’s citizenship.
Barack Obama got rid of this entirely. For he reasoned that the American Community Survey, which is conducted yearly, covering 3.5 million American households, adequately replaced the 25-30 million households that filled out the long-form censuses in prior decades.
So although Trump’s decision may appear radical, it was the Obama administration that established the principle of executive discretion and almost eliminated the importance of citizenship at all. Trump’s position is merely a return to the way things used to be, for until 1950, citizenship questions were asked of every person who took the census.
Trump and Obama both have a political agenda. Obama, true to being a globalist “citizen of the world,” pushed unfettered immigration and conducted an illegal immigrant friendly census. Trump, on the other hand, has curbed the rates of illegal immigration in favor of American jobs and border security in the name of Making America a country again.
Yet in spite of Obama’s own political agenda, the census was still conducted with little protest in 2010. His constitutional mandate won out the day, even though liberal states certainly benefited when more representatives and resources were devoted to their constituents.
To support a lawsuit in protest of the census is fine. But to do so because one thinks that politics only comes into a census when the Trump administration does it, and that that is therefore “unlawful,” is misleading and irresponsible.
The new grievance from liberal states means the same deference given to Obama in 2010 does not apply to Democrats in 2020, who shamelessly depend on illegal immigrants for political power and influence. The left’s hostility to the discretion of our executive is unbounded by the “norms” they believe him to be destroying—norms Republicans never thought to violate when they were not in power.
Those who admonish Trump for including a citizenship question, particularly Sarah Brannon of the ACLU, see nothing but a “toxic stew of racist rants and draconian policies.” Yet in reality, the addition of a citizenship question is of deep accord with the broader agenda of making America Great Again for all Americans.
The cries of racism are predictably cringeworthy. After all, the group most likely to support strict immigration practices, and to suffer from loose ones, are African Americans. All conservatives, regardless of what they think of Trump, should look past the left’s cries and see this new census policy for what it is: a step towards restoring America’s republican (small r) form.
Conservatives must realize that, from the Ancient Greeks to the American Founding, citizens were the ones involved with the exercise of political power in a republic.
The 2020 census proves that the Trump administration is continuing to pursue such an agenda. Trump continues to maintain, however obnoxiously at times, the idea that America is a country. He continues to push back against globalist attempts to erase nations by eroding the concept of citizenship. He is renewing aspects of the nation that have persisted since the beginning of political thought itself. These are, in every respect, good developments, and we should not cower to those who say we are “toxic” or “racist” for thinking otherwise.