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HomeIllinois NewsShould the 2020 US Census ask what it asked 20 years ago?

Should the 2020 US Census ask what it asked 20 years ago?

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CHICAGO – Should the 2020 U.S. Census ask one particular question that it included 20 years ago?  Yes, says U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. No, says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, plus 16 other state attorneys general, the ACLU and immigration rights groups.

One particular question is especially important to Illinois, a state already likely to lose one Congressional seat due to Illinois' declining population. Asking residents whether or not they are citizens of the U.S. could cost Illinois a second seat, as those who haven't gone through the nation's immigration system to become legal citizens are likely to not respond, opponents say. That could cut the state's reported population dramatically. 

Twenty years ago, the 2000 U.S. Census Long Form contained this question for every member of a household: 

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Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce says the question should be included in 2020.

"The citizenship data provided to [Department of Justice] will be more accurate with the question than without it, which is of greater importance than any adverse effect that may result from people violating their legal duty to respond," he said in a statement. 

A spokesperson from Governor Rauner's office said the question should be included because the governor believes "we should collect accurate citizenship data." Rauner, first elected in 2014, lost substantial support from the Republican Party base after signing into law a measure effectively making Illinois a sanctuary state. 

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she will join a lawsuit with other states opposing the citizenship question. "We  must encourage every person in our country to participate, instead of putting up barriers to prevent people from being counted," she said. 

The US Constitution emphasized "persons" be counted, and doesn't mention"citizens," opponents argue. Article 14, Sec. 2 of the U.S. Constitution says "Representatives shall be approtioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, county the whole number of persons in each state." 

Not only does the census count affect congressional representation, federal allocations would diminish if there are more people than those reported in the survey every ten years. 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. This is a PLOY. The question was removed for the same reason it needs to stay removed. The census is supposed to count number of households. PERIOD. Thats their job… ALL THE HOUSEHOLDS.
    Asking this question will decrease in the number of households reporting. This is AGAINST THE CENSUS’s MAIN PURPOSE. Undercounting those communities and they will be underserved… remember a community that is underserved has tax paying us citizens as well…
    I think the hope here is to once again punish states that don’t follow federal law…. you know… like the civil war was….
    States rights???? mean nothing to GOP. look it up. Eminent domain, seizure of property without charges or trial, the drug war …. Ask Jeff Sessions how much he believes in states rights….. when he’s filling up PRIVATE prisons he’s invested in.

  2. Amazing to find that this 2000 census form was in use when those enlightened Co-Presidents, Bill and Hillary, were in office. Come to think of it, so was lying Dickie Durbin.
    Did I miss their protests against the discriminatory intent of the form used by a Democratic Administration?

  3. To: no? really?
    NO, stupid.
    The census is not meant to count “households,” because households don’t vote as blocs, nor are households, as such, REPRESENTED in the U.S. or state Houses of Representatives.
    The census counts INDIVIDUALS and, until recently, it was believed these individual persons had to be U.S. CITIZENS.
    If you want to count illegal (oops! “un-documented”)
    persons who have wormed their way into the USA, you can resort to the pre-Civil War way the DEMOCRATS got additional representation in the U.S House by counting slaves into the census:
    Count each illegal (“undocumented”) alien as 3/5 of a “person.”
    It seems to have been a good enough formula for the Democrats in the censuses of 1860 and before, and as the Democrats are so “inviting” of illegal (“un-documented”) aliens NOW, that should make them happy.
    But, like the slaves of the “Old Democrat South,” these 3/5 non-citizen persons should also NOT have the right to vote.
    After all, isn’t the real reason the Democrats want these people to come into this country is to EXPLOIT them in one way or another, just as they exploited the slaves?

  4. I remember when my parents received the 1960 census form and it asked “How many toilets are in your home?”
    My dad refused to answer because he assumed the government’s intent was to tax us for every one of them.
    Speaking of toilets and what goes into them, reading the above rant by “oh really?” is sending me to the Porcelain Throne as soon as I finish typing this.

  5. States rights???? mean nothing to GOP. look it up. Eminent domain, seizure of property without charges or trial, the drug war …. Ask Jeff Sessions how much he believes in states rights….. when he’s filling up PRIVATE prisons he’s invested in.
    Yeah, remember back when the Republicans also violated people’s property rights, you know, when they freed the slaves? No respect for state’s rights back then either. As I recall, the Democrats were opposed to that back then.

  6. Today’s Democrats ALSO have nothing to do with the real Democrats of the 1960s.
    Those were still States Rights Democrats.
    That’s before 1970 when the Socialists overran and captured the Democrat Party…now the SOCIALIST-DEMOCRAT Party.
    Hey, Democrats! You’re being HAD!
    WAKE UP!!
    It’s not your grandpa’s “Democrat Party” anymore!