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California and its O.D.D AG.

March 28, 2018

Are you a citizen? California AG Xavier Becerra says it doesn’t matter and is suing the U.S. government  for asking.

Strangely, he hasn’t seemed to mind other population surveys asking the same question.

The American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey, which provide estimates of the year to year changes in specific geographical areas, ask this question every year, according to the Commerce Department.

Those less comprehensive and smaller surveys are not generally accepted as legitimate for the purposes of determining compliance with the Voting Rights Act, and tend to measure such things as population mobility or income trends annually. They are typically given to about 15% of the population each year. That’s why if you go to the Census Quick Facts page you can get information estimates for each year.

The decennial census is the official survey and has been authorized since three years after the nation was founded. It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is authorized in Article1, Section 2 of the Constitution.

Contrary to former Democratic Governor Bill Richardson’s statement yesterday about the census citizenship question on the Fox program Outnumbered, where he stated that no President has ever done this, the question was included routinely from 1820 until 1950 and is still routine on the ACS.

Although reading tea leaves isn’t one of Musings areas of expertise, given the California AG’s attitude to date it is possible that if he loses in court (and ultimately he will if he sued on grounds of the change being unconstitutional), it wouldn’t be surprising if he tells Californians to just round file the questionnaire.

Bad idea, on several levels.

Persons over 18 receiving any census questionnaire are required by law to fill it out and return it, and they can be fined as much as $5,000 for refusing to do so, although no one has been fined since 1970.  If California wants to keep or increase its representatives in Congress, failing to return the Census will officially reduce its population numbers.

Also, the state receives a lot of Federal money and at least some of that is based on population and demographics.  That money includes financial assistance for such things as free ESL education that benefits non-English speaking persons. That would benefit, not harm non-citizens.

Perhaps at some point all of California’s socialist leaning public officials should be treated for ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder.) Other than age, most of them certainly fit the clinical parameters.

From → op-ed

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