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Alternate Route for the Citizenship Question

President Trump's executive order will collect vital information in other ways.

Nate Jackson · Jul. 12, 2019

All the wrangling over the citizenship question on the 2020 census led Thursday to President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden announcement that while he will no longer attempt to put the question on next year’s census, he will take action to collect as much pertinent information as possible from his Cabinet agencies.

Trump declared, “I will be issuing an executive order to put this very plan into effect immediately. I’m hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and noncitizens in our country.”

“It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and noncitizens that make up the U.S. population,” he asserted. “Knowing this information is vital to formulating sound public policy.” It’s also vital in determining accurate population counts for representation in Congress. And it was no big deal until Trump became president. Rep. Jim Jordan noted, “We’ve been asking the citizenship question on the census in one form or another for 200 years.”

With no apparent self-awareness or sense of irony, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pontificated, “It is nothing more — the president’s action — than a naked political power grab, which is one of the few things he’s good at as president.” Schumer added, “He will try anything to rewrite the rules to his advantage.”

Schumer perfectly described what Democrats do in attempting to rig elections to their advantage and what Barack Obama did for eight years with “naked political power grabs.” Indeed, Trump argued correctly, rabid opposition to the citizenship question “is part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen.” Citizens who, by the way, support the citizenship census question by large majorities.

As a final thought, it’s possible that Democrats are digging a hole for themselves on redistricting. In other words, by excluding the citizenship question and then pushing for redistricting based on population growth, they could be opening themselves up for legal challenges because there is not sufficient evidence that the people counted are U.S. citizens.

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