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  • The Census/Citizenship Connection Wouldn’t Have Been Debatable to America’s Founders

    Daily Surge Summary: America’s history demonstrates a long-standing, widely understood connection between the ten-year census and information about citizenship.

    Okay, boys and girls, time for a Civics/American History 101 refresher. Just follow the bouncing ball and within a few minutes – especially if you’re presently foggy on the topic – you’ll have a clearer grasp on why citizens and the U.S. Census must be connected.

    The Constitution mandates, per Article 1, Section 2, that every ten years, the U.S. government must undertake a census or count of everyone living in the United States. The direction is straightforward – it explicitly ties the census to the idea of representation in the republic government.

    As PJ Media’s Bryan Preston puts it:

    Both the original language in Article 1, Section 2 and the 14th Amendment tie the census directly to representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is important to understanding the purpose of asking about citizenship on the census.

    Inquiring about citizenship on the census goes back to at least 1800 and Thomas Jefferson. The founder, author of the Declaration of Independence and president-to-be wanted the census to ask about the “respective numbers of native citizens, citizens of foreign birth, and of aliens…for the purpose of more exactly distinguishing the increase of population by birth and immigration.” In 1820 the census began asking the questions President Jefferson wanted answered.

    As John S. Baker of Our Citizenship Counts recently wrote in The Hill, the notion of citizenship – as opposed to that of being a “subject” – was vital to America’s Founders, thus citizenship status has been routinely addressed in the census in different ways over the history of the nation; until 2010, when Barack Obama ditched the long form altogether, eliminating the citizenship question. (More mischief from the 44th President, confirming he was one of the most deleterious Chief Execs of America’s two-hundred-forty-three years.

    President Trump has requested that the census resume inquiring into every household’s citizenship. It’s a practice that aligns directly with the noble traditions of generations of previous administrations and historic precedent.

    It’s a question that puts Trump squarely in Thomas Jefferson’s corner and in the mainstream of American history. In fact, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, a continuous look at the U.S. population, always asks about citizenship.

    So why is a nation asking about citizenship on its census, for the purposes of both representation in government and taxation as the Constitution mandates, even controversial?

    Good question. Mewling over the census/citizenship connection provides a handy example of disingenuous Leftists concocting objections. creating problems, where, in fact, there are none.

    But the real purpose of failing to ask about citizenship may be to undercount and under-represent citizens and give states that attract more non-citizens more House representation than they are due.  … [It] may also make enforcement of voter fraud more difficult, by making counts less accurate.

    California famously grants extreme taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants. Gov. Gavin Newsom just signed a law allowing free healthcare for illegal immigrants, for instance. This benefit, which even legal California citizens do not get, will logically attract more illegal immigrants to California. While those illegal immigrants cannot (yet?) vote in elections, they will be represented in Congress in the number of House seats California gets. Instead of 50 seats, California gets 53. With House seats capped at 435, those seats have to come from other states. It’s a zero-sum game.

    California’s weighty illegal immigrant population transforms directly into three House seats which further empowers the Golden State to neutralize smaller states’ House representation. Other blue states can follow California’s example – and certainly will. Progressivism’s pervasive end-justifies-the-means ethic justifies, in their thinking, fighting dirty: they don’t need to follow the rules. Taking their cues from California’s shenanigans, these other like-minded states will increasingly grow their own House representation via illegal immigration.

    The census is at the heart of representation in our republic. The Constitution explicitly connects the census to representation of citizens. Citizenship has been a routine part of the census for most of our national existence, and resuming capturing this data ought not be controversial. Objections to the citizenship question are speculative at best, disingenuous at worst. The citizenship question is only controversial because like nearly everything else in American life, some want to use the census to serve their own political power plays.

    Image: Adapted from: Rembrandt Peale – http://www.whitehouseresearch.org/assetbank-whha/action/viewHome, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72792044


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