Obama-Era Census Director Claims Asking U.S. Residents if They’re Citizens ‘Is a Tremendous Risk’

DACA, Census
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
JOHN BINDER
Washington, D.C.

Merely asking United States residents if they are American citizens on the 2020 Census, as the Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested, poses a “tremendous risk,” the Census Director who served under former President Obama says.

The Census Bureau’s former director, John Thompson, — who served between 2013 and 2017 until he abruptly resigned — told CityLab that putting the citizenship question back on the U.S. Census for 2020 would be detrimental, an argument echoed by the open borders lobby and left-wing politicians across the country.

Thompson tells CityLab:

“There are great risks that including that question, particularly in the atmosphere that we’re in today, will result in an undercount, not just of non-citizen populations but other populations that are concerned with what could happen to them,” Thompson said. “That is a tremendous risk.” [Emphasis added]

“The concern is it will cause great fear among certain populations that this data will be used for inappropriate purposes,” Thompson said. “The Census [Bureau] has a really, really hard job to convince everyone of two things. One is why it’s important to be counted. The other message that is really, really critical is that the census is confidential. The Census [Bureau] doesn’t give the data to anyone.” [Emphasis added]

Thompson’s stance against putting the citizenship back on the Census, something that has not been done since 1950, is in-line with the rest of the Washington establishment and mainstream media.

A group of liberal politicians from across the U.S. even sent Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who will make the final decision, a letter claiming that by asking U.S. residents if they are citizens, the Census Bureau would be violating the Constitution:

Fair, proportionate electoral representation in our democracy depends on valid Census data. The proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census questionnaire would defeat that goalviolate the Constitution, and undermine the purposes of the Voting Rights Act that the Justice Department claims it wants to protect. Because inclusion of a citizenship question would threaten the Census Bureau’s ability to conduct its constitutionally – mandated role, and would be arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act – causing significant, direct harm to our states and residents – we urge you to reject the Justice Department’s request. [Emphasis added]

Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach and Rep. Steve King (R-IA), however, have argued that asking U.S. residents if they are citizens is crucial to avoiding “vote dilution.”

Kobach has explained:

Aside from the obvious fact that every sovereign nation ought to know how many citizens it has, there are even more important reasons to know this information. The very principle of one person, one vote, is at stake. [Emphasis added]

Right now, congressional districts are drawn up simply based on the number of warm bodies in each district. Not only are legal aliens counted, but illegal aliens are counted too. As a result, citizens in a district with lots of illegal aliens have more voting power than citizens in districts with few illegal aliens. [Emphasis added]

Think of it this way. There are about 710,000 people in each congressional district. But, if half of the district is made up of illegal aliens, then there are only 355,000 citizens in the district. The value of each citizen’s vote in such a district is twice as high. [Emphasis added]

Should the 2020 Census return to asking U.S. residents if they are American citizens, the public will know for the first time since 1950 just how many citizens are in the country.

California politicians are particularly fearful of the 2020 Census counting American citizens because it could likely lead to a reduction in the state’s representation in Congress, as well as a loss in federal funding, as there are likely over three million illegal aliens living in the state.

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

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