Lawsuit: Trump Using New Citizenship Question on Census to Raise Campaign Cash

NEW YORK — Not content with intimidating Hispanic-named people with a loaded citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census, Republican President Donald Trump – 10 days before his Commerce Department announced its decision – used his approval of the query as a tactic to raise campaign cash.

Trump then repeated his boast in yet another fundraising letter the day before Commerce added the question to the census, an updated lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan against Trump’s agency reveals.

That second fundraising letter, sent March 28, also urges donors to “please sign our official petition to defend the president’s decision to make citizenship a question on the 2020 U.S. Census.”

The Trump-Pence Make America Great Again Committee sent both letters. It had raised $34 million for the 2020 campaign even before those two census-oriented letters went out, federal records show.

The census count is vital for both political and financial reasons. Counting how many people there are and where they are – which is all the U.S. Constitution requires – determines both U.S. House seats for each state and gives states data for drawing accurate congressional, state senate and state house districts, working under the “one person, one vote” rule.

And federal dollars are often doled out for specific programs depending on how many residents of a particular class – Hispanic-named people, African-Americans and low-income kids among them – live in a particular area.

Fewer people counted equals weaker clout in Washington and state capitals and fewer federal and state dollars flowing into a community.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by the attorneys general of 18 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the mayors of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle and several smaller cities seeks to stop Trump’s Commerce Department from asking people in the 2020 headcount whether they are citizens or not.

Independent analysts, past Census Bureau chiefs and the officials themselves all agree the “Are you a citizen?” question will intimidate people, especially undocumented people, who speak Spanish or who are from Spanish-speaking nations. That will lead to an even larger undercount than occurred a decade ago, the attorneys general and their allies contend.

But their lawsuit also makes clear Trump’s Justice Department imposed the citizenship question on the census at his order. Justice sent the citizenship question demand to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department includes the Census Bureau.

“It is clear that DOJ’s stated rationale for demanding citizenship information from every resident in the country was contrary to the evidence and was not, in fact, the true reason DOJ sought this change from the Census Bureau,” the lawsuit says.

“On March 19, 2018, President Trump’s re-election campaign sent a fundraising e-mail stating: ‘The president wants the 2020 Census to ask people whether or not they are citizens…The president wants to know if you’re on his side,” the letter asks prospective donors.

Ten days later, and the day before Ross’ ruling, Trump’s campaign sent out another fundraising letter stating he “officially mandated” the census include the citizenship question.

When Ross announced he was adding the citizenship question to the census, after virtually no testing at all about its impact on whether people would respond to census-takers or shy away, DOJ said it needed the question to “help enforce the Voting Rights Act.”

The state attorneys general and their allies told the court “There was no assertion” in the fundraising letters “that the president sought this information to strengthen enforcement” of that law. Voting rights advocates disparaged that excuse, as it comes from a Trump Justice Department that reversed course and argued in federal courts against enforcing voting rights.

Conflicting explanations for the citizenship question by Trump, Ross, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump’s fundraising letter “make clear the” Voting Rights Act reason “was a pretext,” the suit said.

“The citizenship question is the latest attempt by President Trump to stoke the fires of anti-immigrant hostility,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement.

“In one fell swoop, the Commerce Department ignored its own protocols and years of preparation in a concerted effort to suppress a fair and accurate census count from our diverse communities. The administration’s claim that it is simply seeking to protect voting rights is not only laughable, but contemptible.”

Unions and union-allied groups, including Labor’s Council for Latin American Advancement and the Asian-Pacific American Labor Alliance, have yet to weigh in on the Trump administration’s citizenship question on the census. But the lawsuit makes its impact clear, by showing the minimum numbers of people. taken from the imperfect 2010 census, who could be missed in the 2020 count.

State by state, the lawsuit lists “hard-to-count” households from the last census – those whose residents didn’t return questionnaires – and the proportions of immigrants and foreign-born, including undocumented people, and each state’s share of Hispanic residents. Some of the numbers are large and presumably would be even larger in 2020. Examples include:

  • 24.2 percent of New York households, 36 percent of its people and more than half of its Hispanic-named residents are in “hard to count” areas, such as inner cities and far-flung rural counties whose farmers host migrant workers. New York was #4 nationally in numbers of undocumented residents.
  • One-fifth (19.3 percent) of Illinois families didn’t mail back their census questionnaires last time, so enumerators had to go out and find them. Immigrants were one of every seven residents and one-quarter of the immigrants were undocumented. Some 48 percent of Chicagoans were in hard-to-count neighborhoods, and 21 percent of the city’s residents are immigrants. Of those, 435,000 were undocumented.
  • More than one-quarter (27 percent) of Californians are foreign-born, and that rises to 35 percent in San Francisco. Los Angeles was not included in the lawsuit, but Wikipedia reports the nation’s second-lar-gest city is 47.5 percent Hispanic-named, 10.7 percent Asian-named and 9.8 percent African-American.

The Trump administration’s “decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire will lead to undercounts in immigrant communities and as a result, disproportionately affect areas with larger immigrant communities,” the attorneys general said.

And, in an understatement of what Trump really wants, the lawsuit then adds: “Redistricting on the basis of these inaccurate numbers will harm these areas vis-à-vis other areas within their states with smaller immigrant communities.”

Top Photo | U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic Aviation in Moon Township, Pa., Saturday, March 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People’s World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.

People’s World is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

The post Lawsuit: Trump Using New Citizenship Question on Census to Raise Campaign Cash appeared first on MintPress News.


Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Grayzone Project 11
Pass Blue 56
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 410
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 27
Need To Know News 1681
FEE 3241
Marine Le Pen 231
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 543
Mohamed Omar 242
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 17
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 71
Vetenskapsradion Historia 117
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 177
Les Crises 1881
Richard Falk 115
Ian Sinclair 79
SpinWatch 50
Counter Currents 6318
Kafila 356
Gail Malone 33
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 93
The Duran 6551
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 4811
Paul Craig Roberts 1155
News Junkie Post 44
Nomi Prins 24
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 3465
Sir Ken Robinson 16
Stephan Kinsella 66
Liberty Blitzkrieg 795
Sami Bedouin 61
Consortium News 2152
21 Century Wire 2910
Burning Blogger 280
Stephen Gowans 67
David D. Friedman 128
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1465
Tom Dispatch 409
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3431
The Barnes Review 472
John Friend 366
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3108
School Sucks Project 1736
Giza Death Star 1564
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 567
GMWatch 1801
Robert Faurisson 148
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 743
Le 4ème singe 87
Jacob Cohen 197
Agora Vox 10772
Cercle Des Volontaires 417
Panamza 1646
Fairewinds 103
Project Censored 720
Spy Culture 368
Conspiracy Archive 66
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 489
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 546
Independent Science News 66
The Anti Media 5573
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 259
The Mind renewed 211
Natural Society 2467
Yanis Varoufakis 814
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 65
Web of Debt 125
Porkins Policy Review 347
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 563
Libyan War Truth 280
DeadLine Live 1905
Kevin Ryan 61
Aaron Franz 186
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 111
Peter B Collins 1337
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9546
Climate Audit 220
Donna Laframboise 355
Judith Curry 1052
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1991
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 10118
Laura Wells Solutions 27
Video Rebel's Blog 411
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 17843
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2657
Northerntruthseeker 2043
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4616 Blog 2688 Original Content 6112
Corbett Report 2087
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1106
Webster Tarpley Website 940

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public