If you want to understand what it was about the legalism of Pharisees that disgusted Jesus, all we have to do is watch what people do the Constitution. The proposal to put the citizenship question back in the U.S. Census is a simple, straightforward example.
What Is Going On?
A question is being restored to the census.
The White House said Tuesday that asking a question about citizenship on the 2020 census form is a standard practice that will help protect Americans’ voting rights.
“This is a question that’s been included in every census since 1965 with the exception of 2010, when it was removed,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
She said the administration decided to reinstate the question because it has “provided data that’s necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters, and specifically to help us better comply with the Voting Rights Act, which is something that’s important and part of this process.” (continued here)
Of course this change is making some unhappy.
- Cortez Masto: The 2020 Census Must Remain Non-Partisan (cortezmasto.senate.gov): U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) considers the question partisan.
- California sues Trump administration over addition of citizenship question to census (msn.com): California plans on taking the issue before “non-partisan” judges.
What The Constitution Requires
The Constitution requires the House of Representative to be representative. Since the Constitution is a process document, it provides procedures. It does not necessarily explain the rationale, but it is obvious that what the framers of Constitution wanted was a count that had something to do with the number of voters (or citizens). Consider this portion of the text from Article 1, Section 2.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (from here)
The framers did not include the Indians and they compromised on the slaves. What would they have done about illegal aliens? Deported them, probably. Would they have given them health, education, and welfare benefits? H#LL NO!
What Kind Of Questions Are In The Census?
Since the Census Bureau is a government bureaucracy, everything it does tends to be overblown and complicated. The Census Bureau does the Decennial Census and American Community Survey. The Decennial Census is required by the Constitution. American Community Survey is the government being nosy. Of course, Decennial Census is nosy too. This page, Decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS), explains the relationship between the two programs. Note this excerpt.
In the early 1990s, demands for timely, nationally consistent statistics led federal government policymakers to consider the feasibility of collecting long form data continuously throughout each decade. The benefits of providing recent stats, along with the anticipated decennial census benefits in cost savings, planning, improved coverage, and more efficient operations, led the Census Bureau to pursue continuous measurement, later called the American Community Survey (ACS). After years of testing, outreach to stakeholders, and interaction with key data users—especially those in the statistical and demographic communities—the bureau launched the ACS in 2005.
This innovation enabled the 2010 Census to be a “short form only” census (blogger bolded this portion). Decoupling the collection of short and long form data allowed the U.S. Census Bureau to focus decennial census efforts on the constitutional requirements to produce a count of the resident population, while employing technology in both collections to improve efficiencies, improve accuracy, and reduce costs. The result has been the dissemination of more current and detailed information than has ever been available. (from here)
If your address was selected for the American Community Survey, you are legally obligated to answer all the questions, as accurately as you can. The relevant laws are Title 18 U.S.C Section 3571 and Section 3559, which amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221. (from here)
So what kind of questions does the Census Bureau ask on the Decennial Census? Decennial Census Questionnaires & Instructions provides links to the old versions of the census. Since 2010, that has been a short form (in seven different languages), but they still want racial and ethnic data. So why not citizenship? Here, Download 2000 Census Long-Form Questionnaire [PDF – <1.0 MB]. The damn thing is forty pages long. Just hope you don’t get the 2020 version because you will be LEGALLY required to fill it out.