Trump Terrifies Immigrant Community As He Demands To Keep Secret Why He Wants A Citizenship Question On The 2020 Census
For the second time in his presidency, Trump has used executive privilege to shield his administration from congressional oversight.
And this time, the implications could be huge for already underrepresented communities – specifically the Latino community.
In a brazen move, Trump has taken an extraordinary step to reject Congressional subpoenas regarding his administration’s controversial addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
On Wednesday, Trump announced he’d be blocking Democrats from getting the documents the needed.
In asserting executive privilege, the president is shielding documents related to a controversial decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The issue is currently before the Supreme Court.
Democrats, civil rights groups, and other opponents argue that including the question would scare off noncitizens and immigrant communities from completing the form and was intended to suppress their representation in Congress and in the federal budget-making process.
The administration contends it would help the Justice Department enforce voting rights, and that there is value in knowing the size of the population of US citizens.
House Democrats were investigating the origins of the citizenship question.
The committee launched an investigation earlier this year into the origins of the citizenship question, with Democrats claiming that it was added to the census in order to boost Republicans in future elections.
Last month, leaked emails from a deceased Republican operative showed evidence of a masterplan to use the 2020 Census to undermine the Democratic vote.
Democrats have accused Republicans of lying about how the citizenship question was added to the census. In particular, after new evidence emerged recently that highlighted the role of a now-deceased Republican gerrymandering expert who argued that adding such a question to the census would cause congressional districts to be redrawn in ways that help Republicans.
“I want to know why this question was magically added after we have seen that a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
And according to reports from the Washington Post, it was Attorney General Barr – who was facing potential contempt charges – who asked Trump to declare executive privilege.
The notice of Trump’s assertion of executive privilege came just as the House Oversight Committee prepared to vote Wednesday on a resolution to hold the Commerce Secretary and Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for failing to comply with its subpoenas.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to rule by the end of the month whether to allow the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
The Constitution requires a count every 10 years but doesn’t specify that it includes only citizens; the main census survey last asked about citizenship in 1950.
All of this dramatic news provoked intense reactions across Twitter.
One Twitter user pointed out what many are already thinking – that Trump is trying to hide his administration’s real motives behind the census questions: racism.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) added her two cents, saying that every person in the US deserves to be counted.
And that the president’s use of executive privilege is an obvious abuse of power meant to shield his administration from legal oversight of its potentially illegal actions.
And this Supreme Court lawyer laid out his worries about the power-hungry president.
Many of us already feared that a President Trump would do all he could do to protect himself from any kind of oversight or legal challenge. And now we have just another case of obvious proof.
While a former federal prosecutor laid out Trump’s very clear motives.
The threat to the Latino community – and immigrant communities of all backgrounds – is existential if the 2020 Census citizenship question is included. It would decimate our already low representation at the federal level and would limit access to much-needed services.
But aside from it’s dangerous and immediate impacts, the 2020 Census will allow lawmakers to remake voting districts in their favor – to perpetuate an already broken system but even more in their favor.