Trump’s 2020 Census May Cost California Congressional Seat by Counting Citizens

Donald Trump laughs (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty

Democrats fear the Trump administration’s re-reinstatement of citizenship questions on the 2020 U.S. Census will cost California a Congressional seat and billions in funding.

The number of U.S. House of Representative seats was fixed by law in 1911 at 435. The “enumeration” requires at that each state have at least one Representative, and the other Representatives are allocated according to population as determined by the U.S. Census every ten years. Based on the 2010 Census data, California received the most, at 53.

But Politico reports that could change with the Department of Justice sending a letter on December 12 to the Census Bureau asking that the citizenship question eliminated in 2010 during the Obama administration be reinstated for the 2020 Census.

According to the Justice Department’s General Counsel, Arthur E. Gary, “This data is critical to the Department’s enforcement of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and its important protections against racial discrimination in voting.” He added, “To fully enforce those requirements, the Department needs a reliable calculation of the citizen voting-age population in localities where voting rights violations are alleged or suspected.”

The Obama administration discontinued the 1970-2000 “long form” questionnaire that asked citizenship questions. Democrats claim that it was appropriately replaced by the American Community Survey (ACS). But the Justice Department stresses that ACS is a “samples survey that is sent to only around one in every thirty-eight households each year.”

The Justice Department complained that the 2010 Census Bureau’s ACS voting-age data, which did not ask the citizenship question of every interviewee, was then used for the first time to set election redistricting for federal, state and local jurisdictions.

The Justice Department highlighted that the Census Bureau’s “rolling and aggregated into one-year, three-year, and five-year estimates” will not reflect the true “citizen voting age population” in the year 2020, which is legally required to calculate federal redistricting of Congressional seats.

Democrats understand that the revised 2010 U.S. Census questionnaire, which did not ask about interviewee’s citizenship under the penalty of perjury, encouraged many of California’s approximately 2.35 million illegal aliens and 1.65 million legal aliens to participate improperly in the U.S. Census.

The resulting 2010 U.S. Census data over-count of supposedly “voting age citizens” appears to have qualified California for at least one extra Congressional seat, and likely served as the basis for billions of dollars of extra federal funding for the Golden State that should have been more fairly distributed to other states.

Breitbart News reported that California is ranked as the #1 recipient for total U.S. federal spending, with $343.7 billion in receipts in 2013. That was over $109 billion more than #2 Texas, at $234 billion. For every dollar that California residents paid in federal taxes, the state received $1.18 in federal spending.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla told Politico that the Trump administration’s management of the U.S. Census could have “devastating effects” on his state. He praised California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal to spend $40.3 million to obtain an accurate U.S. Census resident count.


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