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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Secret memo links Census citizenship question to Partition, says oversight committee

Trump officials tried to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census in a move that experts said despite initial skepticism among some in the administration, according to an investigative report released Wednesday by the Congressional Monitoring Committee. Will benefit.

Read more: In 2 states, 1 in 20 residents were left out during the US Census

The report offers a smoking gun of sorts—a secret memo the committee obtained after a two-year legal battle showed that a top Trump appointee at the Commerce Department as the reason for including the question. Partition detected.

The report released by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said, “The committee’s investigation has revealed that a group of political appointees may have used the census to advance an ideological agenda and potentially exclude non-citizens.” demanded to be done.”

It has long been speculated that the Trump administration wanted the citizenship question to illegally exclude people from divestment numbers in the country.

The report includes several drafts showing how the memo evolved from recognizing that doing so would likely be unconstitutional to come up with other justifications for adding to the question of citizenship.

The division process uses state population counts collected over a decade of census to divide the number of Congressional seats each state receives.

Opponents feared the citizenship question would scare off Hispanics and immigrants from participating in the 2020 census, whether or not they were in the country legally. The question of citizenship was stayed by the Supreme Court in 2019. In the High Court’s decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said that the reason the Commerce Department had given for the citizenship question – which was necessary to enforce the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Act – appeared to be hypothetical.

The Commerce Department oversees the Census Bureau, which conducts the calculations used to determine the distribution of political power and $1.5 trillion in federal funding each year. Then-Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testified before the oversight committee that the citizenship question was not the cause of the division, even though the Commerce Department memorandum suggests otherwise, the House report said.

“I have not knowingly misled Congress or knowingly said anything wrong under oath,” Ross said during a 2019 hearing before the oversight committee.

As a House committee report, while planning the citizenship question, an adviser to the Commerce Department reached out to a Republican redistribution expert who wrote that Congress should use the civilian voting-age population instead of the total population for the purpose of redefinition. And legislative districts can be beneficial to Republican and non-Hispanic whites.

The House report said an August 2017 memo prepared by senior Commerce Department political appointee James Uthmeyer moved to the center of negotiations by the Commerce Department and the Justice Department for coming up with an emergent reason for the question of citizenship.

An early draft of the memorandum raised doubts that the question of citizenship would be legal because it could only be added to a decade-long census if the Commerce Secretary concludes that it is not possible to collect the information in the survey sample. But a later draft shrugged off that concern, saying the commerce secretary had the discretion to add a citizenship question for reasons other than division.

A later draft removed the division as an exception to the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce, stating that “there is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about adding a citizenship question.”

watch: America is becoming more urban, more diverse and less white, 2020 census shows

An early draft of the memorandum also noted that using citizenship data for partition was probably unconstitutional and against the 200-year precedent, but that language was also removed in a later draft.

The House report said that Uthmeyer conducted research using Voting Rights Act enforcement as a reason for the citizenship question three months before it was requested by the Justice Department, and asked the Justice Department to avoid digital fingerprints for that suggestion. along with submitted his memorandum.
Uthmeier, who is now serving as Chief of Staff to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did not immediately respond to an emailed inquiry Wednesday.

In an effort to prevent future attempts to politicize the census, members of the oversight committee plan to debate a bill introduced Wednesday by U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney, D.N.Y., which would require new questions for the head count. would be required. Congress, and the Director of the Census Bureau are prohibited from being fired without reason.

The Trump administration named an unusually high number of political appointees to top positions in the Census Bureau without prior experience in the statistical agency. The law would limit the number of political appointments to three, with all other positions to be filled by career civil service workers.

Even though many of the Trump administration’s political efforts ultimately failed, some advocates believe they have had an impact, resulting in significantly higher numbers of most racial and ethnic minorities in the 2020 census than in the 2010 census. .

Maloney, who chairs the monitoring committee, said: “It is clear that future legislative reforms are needed to prevent any illegal or unconstitutional attempts to interfere with the census and erode our democracy.”

World Nation News Desk
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