The purpose of a census is for a nation to count and survey its population, as prescribed in the U.S. Constitution. It would seem obvious then that asking whether an individual is a citizen of said country would be an appropriate and necessary question. However, most Democrats and the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) do not value an accurate census. Prof. John Baker wrote in The Hill:
This past week the American Civil Liberties Union filed yet another desperate lawsuit challenging the secretary of Commerce’s decision to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census. The ACLU filed suit two months after the sanctuary state of California first asked the federal courts to prevent the 2020 census from asking who is and is not a citizen.
Many elected officials in California and other Democrat-led states, assisted by left-wing, legal groups, seem more concerned about advancing the interests of illegal aliens than those of U.S. citizens.
It has become abundantly clear the ACLU and other liberal politicians and organizations have little concern with protecting American citizens or ensuring fair, open, and honest elections. In fact, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s recent lawsuit proves the left’s opposition to a citizenship question in the census is primarily an attempt to undermine the value of American citizenship, by granting illegal immigrants equal status. Pew Research points out:
A lawsuit by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra contends that if the census undercounted immigrants, it would be an incomplete population count that violates its constitutional purpose, which is to divide up seats in the U.S. House of Representatives based on the total U.S. population. (Census numbers also are used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds.)
A proper census is critical in establishing fair, open, and honest elections. Without it, the already difficult job of election officials to conduct a legitimate election that includes only legal citizens participating becomes next to impossible. The Federation for American Immigration Reform reports:
There is evidence that both foreign nationals who are lawfully present in the United States and illegal aliens have voted in recent elections. During this election cycle, non-citizens have been discovered on voter registration rolls in both Virginia and Pennsylvania. And the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York recently announced that it charged a Canadian woman with making a false claim to citizenship after she registered and voted in more than 20 elections.
With non-citizens routinely voting illegally, this is becoming a critical issue for our nation; it is important that our states have the necessary information to ensure an honest election. For this reason, a number of states requested a citizenship question on the 2020 census. As Prof. Baker described in The Hill:
States including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas have requested that the Census Bureau include a question regarding citizenship on the 2020 Census questionnaire.
A reliable calculation of the citizen, voting-age population is needed in order for states to meet their obligations. The decennial census questionnaire is the constitutional vehicle for collecting that information.
One of the RNLA’s principal missions is to stand for fair, open, and honest elections. We will continue to highlight those issues that can and would corrupt our election process.
The RNLA’s National Election Law Seminar in St. Louis, Missouri on August 3rd and 4th is an annual, nationwide event where our members can learn more about the citizenship census question, election law and administration, and recent developments in this field, all while earning CLE credits. For more information, visit the event page here.