July 27, 2019
Tom Tancredo

As usual, the dustup about the census including a question about citizenship has nothing to do with what the loony left claims as their motivation to exclude it. They say it’s all about being sensitive to the hurt feelings and paranoia of people who are illegally present in the U.S. And, by the way, asking the question it is not a Donald Trump trick to ferret out those folks who are hiding under their blankets, afraid that the next knock on the door will be the jackbooted ICE agents, come to drag them from their beds and put them on boxcars headed for concentration camps.

A brief history lesson here. The Constitution of the United States directs the President to conduct a Census every ten years, and that has been done without controversy since 1790. And with rare exceptions, the question on citizenship has been part of it from the beginning. Yet, its inclusion in the 2020 Census has become controversial. The reasons for the opposition to the citizenship question tell us a lot about the declining health of our American constitutional republic.

The vehement opposition to the 2020 Census question on citizenship is a symptom of a deep divide in the body politic, a chasm that only grows wider and deeper as politicians postpone a decision over the meaning of the Constitution's opening words, "We the People."

There is a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon separating individuals who believe that "We the People" means we the citizens of the United States and those who believe it means, we the global citizens who temporarily inhabit this territory. To one group having an accurate count of both citizens and noncitizens resident in each state is vital to the constitutional purposes of the Census, but to the "global citizen" contingent that count is not only unnecessary, it is slanderous, racist and, well -- undemocratic!

It is important to understand that this debate over the 2020 Census's citizen/noncitizen numbers is not a debate over counting illegal immigrants residing in the United States. This controversy goes deeper than the debate over whether the official U.S. Census estimate of 11.3 million illegal aliens resident in the country is accurate or woefully inaccurate.

The political resistance to the traditional citizenship question as part of the decennial Census derives its passion and intensity from the ideological goal of transforming the nature of political representation in our republic. In that world, an elected representative in any city council, school board, county commission, state legislature, Board of Regents, or the U. .Congress, is duty bound to represent any resident of his or her district with the same passion and integrity whether that resident be a citizen, a Chinese or German foreign student at a local university, a legal resident alien born in Egypt or an illegal alien who swam across the Rio Grande. Should foreign students at the University of Colorado vote in Boulder city elections? Why not, if every "person" is entitled to "equal representation"?

The population count produced by the 2020 Census will be the foundation for Congress' adoption of revised apportionment of the 435 seats in Congress. Does a new apportionment based on new Census numbers mean a count based on all persons, all citizens, or something else? Such questions will be debated in Congress and litigated all the way to the Supreme Court before we know the answers, but the debate must begin with an accurate count in the Census. Will we get one?

When the national debate over illegal immigration and border security was heating up back in 2005 and 2006 in response to amnesty proposals in Congress, I was roundly criticized for suggesting the opposition to amnesty was rooted in opposition to secure borders. I was attacked by some prominent leaders of the Republican Party for saying that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce saw illegal aliens as cheap labor and the Democrat Party saw them as future Democratic voters. I take no pleasure in observing in 2019 that Democratic leaders in Congress are aggressively advocating open borders as a path to a permanent Democratic majority. And there is an even bigger picture that elitist leftists are trying to paint for us all. They want no borders, no allegiance to a nation state, no citizenship classification connected to a single country.

They want a kumbaya world of global citizens that can be governed by people who “know better.” Think I am wrong? Try to find a recent college or high school grad who can tell you what it means to be an American other than by saying it means abiding in a place called America. The members of what I call the Cult of Multiculturalism infect our schools, our media, and pop culture. The philosophy permeates the West -- its repercussions and can be seen playing out all over Europe.

Only a short decade ago, a world-famous Harvard political scientist, Samuel P. Huntington, wrote a landmark book aptly titled Who Are We? America’s National Identity Crisis. He believed that America's unprecedented achievements and unparalleled prosperity had their foundation in our nation's European heritage, a heritage under siege by the formidable forces of multiculturalism. So eliminating the citizenship question in the Census is a just another step down the road to the elitist utopia promised by Marx and Engels.

Eventually we will come to the step when jackbooted government agents really will be pulling people out of their beds and sending them off to “re-education” camps.” After all, some people might resist the America that Barack Obama promised to thoroughly transform.