By Joe Thomas
Ledger Editor 

Counting illegals in census is scary


February 21, 2019

I've been told on numerous occasions that I'm not the brightest apple in the bunch, but I have a hard time understanding why we should count illegal immigrants in the census that takes place every 10 years.

We'll have a new census in 2020 and the Trump administration wants to add a question to the form. It's a simple question: 'Are you a citizen of the United States'. Some, mostly Democrats, have cried foul and law suits have been filed. The U.S. Supreme Court will have to make the final decision on whether or not asking someone to check a citizenship box on the census form violates the constitution.

I've read the comments from those who think the question should be removed, but I still don't understand. Those against adding the question say that by adding the question many illegals won't fill out the form. Another issue is legal people with illegals living in their homes will be scared to answer the question in fear of the government coming in to remove the illegals. They also say the census should be used to get an accurate account of how many people live in this country.

I get all of that. But it still doesn't make sense to me any more than the idea that we shouldn't show a photo ID when we vote.

The census is a big deal; I mean a really big deal.

Our forefathers set up our federal representation in Washington. Every state gets two U.S. Senators; members of the House of Representatives are given out based on each state's population. Our forefathers also set the number of House members at 435.

The census is more than just counting bodies to determine how many people live where. Those numbers will decide how those 435 House of Representative seats will be distributed.

I checked with the Escambia County Board of Registrars Wednesday and was told that to register to vote, you have to sign an oath that you are a citizen of the United States. So, I have to assume that illegals can't vote, but if they are counted in the census they control how many representatives each state gets in the House.

Currently Alabama has seven members in the U.S. House of Representatives based on the 2010 census.

Here's my concern. If we allow illegals to be counted in illegal-rich states like possibly California, New Mexico and more, could we lose a seat in the House?

You bet we can. If they add several thousands of illegals to their census rosters they may gain a House seat and we could lose one. They can't 'legally' vote, so why should they be counted. Better yet, count the illegals if you want to know how many people live in this country, but leave those numbers off when distributing House seats.

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That's not what some want to do. They want to count illegals toward the House allegations and that's simply wrong. Why count people to decide House seats when those people can't vote and shouldn't be getting government help?

I understand we have a lot of citizens who can't vote – like those who have yet reached the voting age of 18, but they are still U.S. citizens and deserve all the protections afforded under the constitution.

We've heard a lot about the Russians interfering with our election process, but we need to concentrate on how census-counted illegals interfere with our election process. We want to blame the Russians but we create our own problems of interference.

Hopefully the U.S. Supreme Court will side with the Trump administration and say it's legal to add the citizenship question to the census.

The difference could mean Alabama could either lose a House seat or two or possibly gain a House seat. That's a big deal.


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