Kris Kobach: 2020 Census Needs Citizenship Question to Ensure Electoral ‘Fairness’

An immigrant (R), receives assistance with her U.S. citizenship application at a Citizenship Now! event held by City University of New York (CUNY), on May 14, 2016 in New York City. Many legal immigrants are rushing to process their applications ahead of the upcoming U.S. Presidential election in November. Anti-immigrant …
John Moore/Getty Images

The question of whether or not a United States resident is a citizen of the country is needed to ensure electoral “fairness,” Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach says.

In an interview with Breitbart News’ Deputy Political Editor Amanda House on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday, Kobach said the federal government needed to include the citizenship question in the 2020 U.S. Census, telling Breitbart News that “it’s incredibly crucial information.”

KOBACH: You know it was a basic and essential question on the census up through 1950 to ask if you are a United States citizen or not. Then in 1950, after 1950, they moved it to the long form and the short form no longer asked it. But of course, at that time, we didn’t have a huge problem with illegal immigration. So fast-forward to today, we no longer have the long form, we just have the short form, and then the census does these annual surveys as well. The surveys ask if you’re a U.S. citizen, but the census doesn’t actually ask that. And it’s incredibly crucial information for a number of reasons.

The most important of which is we use the census to decide how to portion congressional districts and that in turn effects electoral votes as well. And so, we have now districts, especially in states like California — other states with a large number of illegal aliens — where instead of having 710,000 citizens, which is the average, approximate average of the congressional district size — instead of having that number of citizens in a district, you may have half of that number as citizens and half of that number as illegal aliens, which means that the citizens in that district have twice as much electoral power as you and I do. It only takes 40[,000] or 50,000 votes to win a congressional election. Where it takes 100[,000] or 120,000 votes to win a congressional election in the rest of the country.

And so, this vote dilution is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled on that back in 1963 in a racial vote dilution case but the same principle applies. You can’t have districts where half the number of people are eligible voters, so we need this information on the census. It’s basic information that the Department of Commerce can make this change if it wishes to and the Department of Justice has asked them to make this change, but it’s got to be done so that we can get a picture of where the illegal aliens are and also where the temporary aliens are.

You know the notion that, say you’re from England and you’re taking a two-week long trip, family vacation, through the United States, no one would seriously say that you should be counted in the United States census. But that’s where we are right now. We’re counting illegal aliens and we’re counting people here on temporary visits. It’s nonsense. And if we want to have fairness in our census and fairness in the way our congressional districts portioned, we at least need to have the information.

As Breitbart News reported, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice (DOJ) is pushing for the citizenship question to be included in the 2020 Census.

Listen to Kobach’s full interview here:

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Pacific).

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.