President Donald Trump called out Democrats on Monday for opposing a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, saying the report would be “meaningless” and a waste of money without the determination.
The president tweeted: “Can you believe that the Radical Left Democrats want to do our new and very important Census Report without the all-important Citizenship Question. Report would be meaningless and a waste of the $Billions (ridiculous) that it costs to put together!”
The Democrat-led House Oversight Committee is expected to vote on Tuesday to subpoena Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr over the administration’s decision to add the citizenship question, The Hill reported.
The Commerce Department agreed in March 2018 to add the question, according to the online news site, with Ross saying it would help the Justice Department better enforce the Voting Rights Act.
The Department of Justice said citizenship data was “critical” to its efforts to enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that the 2020 census was “the most appropriate vehicle” for asking a question about citizenship, according to Judicial Watch.
The data would be valuable in cross-checking voter registration rolls to ensure only legal voters are registered.
In January, a federal court in New York blocked the administration’s plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case this month.
There is a concern on the left that the citizenship question could be used to identify illegal immigrants or discourage them from filling out a survey, but Ross rejected the argument that it would reduce the response rate for noncitizens, the watchdog group noted.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton explained a key reason behind the opposition.
“Leftists hate the idea of the American people knowing more about the number of foreign nationals present in the United States, which is why they oppose a census question about citizenship,” Fitton said.
But there are other reasons why the Census count is important, as explained by The Hill:
Census data is used to redraw congressional districts, which determine how many House seats each state receives and how many Electoral College votes they can cast in presidential elections. The count also determines how federal funding is divided up among states.
An undercount of non-citizens would hurt blue states like California and New York, who have large populations of illegal immigrants, resulting in the states potentially losing seats in Congress while more rural states gain.
As explained above, the census is used to redraw congressional districts and divvy up the distribution of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Or, as the New York Times reported: “The primary effect would be to dilute the power of the most populous states and, within states, the cities where immigrants are densely clustered.”
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