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'Huge Victory for Immigrant Communities': Trump Attempt to Rig 2020 Census Defeated as White House Drops Effort to Add Citizenship Question

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/03/huge-victory-immigrant-communities-trump-attempt-rig-2020-census-defeated-white

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No human is illegal.


Why are conservatives so racist?

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“Why do ReGressives want to destroy centuries of (white) culture?

There, I fixed it for you.

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Sort of ironic that today’s troll du jour projects their regressive nature on others, now isn’t it? Let’s waste no more time on those so amygdala-bound, clearly pointed in the opposite direction of Progress, which is a cornerstone of our CD culture.


Yes - it is supposed to count all residents - that is what the Constitution says and what has been attempted throughout our history and that is what has been affirmed by multiple Supreme Court cases.

This is stated quite clearly in two parts of the Constitution (the enumeration clause and the 14th amendment). The 14th Amendment says “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.” (Indians not taxed were added to those being counted by a 1924 law)

It couldn’t be more clear that non-citizen permanent residents and others who live in the state are certainly in that group of “persons in each state” by the plain language of the Constitution.

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Great news! Now there needs to be a big effort to dispel the fears generated by the Trump admin so that as many people as possible will complete the census.

Sorry - but the Constitution uses both the words “persons” and “citizens” and uses them very differently because they mean very different things both then and now. For example, the Constitution says that Senators must be “citizens” for at least nine years while “persons” are to be enumerated.

Regarding all of your misconceptions about things like people climbing a fence and so forth…the census counts someone as a resident of a place if they are a “usual resident”. You can read about the residence rule here: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/about/residence-rule.html

Interestingly, that category is still incomprehensible today.

You have no basis to make either of those claims. We do not have any evidence whatsoever of millions of people voting illegally. In fact, all evidence points the other way - that very very few vote illegally and that the truly larger number are prevented from voting legally. Regarding what would happen if it was conservative people coming into the country - we already have evidence for that. In particular, a vast number of very conservative people migrated to the United States from Cuba and from other left leaning countries in the past few decades and progressives here embraced their right to immigrate (myself included).


The 14th amendment which has the language being discussed here was passed in July of 1868 not in 1779 - and yes they definitely had the concept of visas and requirements for citizenship and all the rest that you say didn’t exist.

right wing anti-Sandinista exiles from Nicaragua in the 1980s were very conservative and again - no objection from progressive people generally or me specifically when they sought refuge here. I simply can’t think of an example where the right to seek asylum in the U.S. was opposed by the progressive community regardless of the perceived politics of the people involved.

At any rate - I am happy to discuss the constitutional issues regarding who must be counted in the census if you have any further questions about that.

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Incorrect. The 14th amendment addressed four separate issues. Section 1 addresses slavery. Section 2 (the part we are discussing here) addresses apportioning the representatives win the House and voting rights. Section 3 denies the right to hold public office to people who rise up in rebellion. Section 4 insures that public Federal debts will be paid but not those of the Confederacy.

I have carried a copy of the Constitution in my wallet for 45 years (since I heard that Sam Ervin - who chaired the Watergate hearings - did so) and read it every couple of months. You might want to give it a read as well.

It is always interesting to hear your take on immigration since you are clearly a true believer in the President’s philosophy - and I can see the kind of things you think are facts or that you assert others believe. Actual evidence pretty much shows those all to be wrong.

That includes your belief that there are 40 million “illegal aliens” living in the United States (when there are really around 10 or 11 million) to your belief that Ebola infected Congolese are invading San Antonio (it would be medically impossible for that to be true since they have travelled for many months through several borders to get there and the Ebola incubation period is just a matter of weeks) to your belief that the progressive community supports any kind of open border policy (as opposed to a different legal immigration policy combined with changing our country’s foreign policy to avoid creating the refugees in the first place, and to treat people seeking asylum with respect).

Of course, that was exactly the fact I was drawing on when I said that it was medically impossible for them to be carrying the Ebola virus. You see these folks hadn’t been in the Congo for several months at the time they arrived at our border - long past the 21 day point - and they had been checked by medical screeners at multiple points in time (this plus the fact that even when they were in the Congo, they lived hundreds of miles from where the outbreak occurred this year). I presume by now you realize that this story of Ebola infested Congolese coming into San Antonio is quite false. Surely you have noticed that not one case of Ebola has been reported in San Antonio or by anyone who had contacts with these refugees (and it has now been more than 21 days since the Breibert story that started this false story ran back on June 8).

So I am afraid that your misconception about those Congolese refugees is provably wrong.

This is not a single arbitrary number that people just keep quoting - the number of unauthorized immigrants is scientifically estimated each year. Every year, the Government runs the American Community Survey (used to be called the “long form” of the census) which involves an annual sample of 3.5 million households. Responding to that survey is mandatory by law and only a couple of percent of the households they pick do not end up responding. From that survey we know how many non-citizens there are in the U.S. - a little under 7% of the population or about 23 million people. Then you subtract the number of people who are permanent residents (i.e. green cards) living in the U.S. (around 13 million) and the number here on student visas (abut a million) and other smaller groups with other legal statuses and it brings you down to around 8 million. Then you have to account for the fact that some people with the paperwork to live in the U.S. are not living here and the fact that a high percentage of the households who refuse to answer the American Community Survey might be doing so because there are undocumented people living there. That takes you to the final numbers that are in the 10 to 11 million range. There simply are no possible assumptions you can make to get that number to anywhere near 40 million.

The above is a description of the basics - using different types of assumptions scientific estimates are made each year by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics, by the Pew Research Center, by the Center for Migration studies and by the Migration Policy Institute - they all come up with similar numbers.

Next - regarding your “additional million or so illegals crossing our border” each year - the actual number is generally much lower. But most importantly, you are neglecting the fact that close to the same number of unauthorized immigrants either cross our border in the other direction, or clear up their illegal status, or they are deported. There simply is no way to get to 40 million.

But finally on this topic, you have said many times elsewhere that you believe that unauthorized immigrants generate a lot of crime (while I have relayed the evidence that the crime rate amongst unauthorized immigrants is actually lower than that for the rest of the population. Well here’s the kicker. If there really were 40 million unauthorized immigrants instead of say 10 million - that would mean that the crime rate amongst them would be four times lower!

So I am afraid that you will have to accept that at least one of your two misconceptions are wrong - mathematically they can’t both be true.

The Census already includes a citizenship question (whose data I used in my explanations above) in its annual surveys - the American Community Survey (ACS). That provides yearly information far more accurate than having the question on the decennial census would achieve. That is because the question has gone through extensive field testing and the protocol for the ACS has been established to account for the nature of the question and the types of responses and non-responses that arise out of it. Unfortunately, the same kind of field testing was not done for having the question on the decennial census since it was added last minute for political reasons over the objections of the technical staff.

Hence, with respect to estimating the number of unauthorized immigrants, the citizenship question on the decennial census would not provide any valuable data.

If you want to understand the position of the statistical community on this issue you might read the brief in the recent Supreme Court case submitted by the American Statistical Association.

The fact that the question has been on the census before is similar to the fact that it is currently on the ACS - also conducted by the Census Bureau. In particular, if there is an important reason to have the question on the decennial census then the Bureau would start working on including it several years ahead of when it will be in the field so they can figure out how to do it right.

Cheers from the peanut gallery…well done. Ok maybe not peanut gallery, maybe interested observer. Thanks.

No problem - I’ll let you get back to your glass work. I’m heading out West myself for a family vacation.

Trump keeps on signaling us that people of color at the border are not the concern of the white nationalists. And his insane policies prove it.