Things That Matter

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.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

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.

Credit: @carla973 / Twitter

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.

Credit: @kylegriffin1 / Twitter

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.

Credit: @davidaxelrod / Twitter

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.

Credit: @TheCyberWarRoom / 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.

Credit: @amyklobuchar / Twitter

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.

Credit: @neal_katyal / Twitter

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.

Credit: @JoyceWhiteVance / Twitter

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.

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The Trump Administration Just Announced That They’re Banning TikTok Downloads Starting on Sunday

Things That Matter

The Trump Administration Just Announced That They’re Banning TikTok Downloads Starting on Sunday

On Friday, the Trump administration announced that it would be blocking future downloads of social media app TikTok starting on midnight on Sunday.

“At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

The Trump Administraiton is also taking action against the popular messaging and payment app WeChat, banning American companies from hosting the app’s internet traffic or processing transactions for the app (one of its key features).

Both TikTok and WeChat are the two most popular tech exports from China.

via Getty Images

TikTok is a popular video-sharing platform that allows users to share 15-second videos of themselves dancing and lip-syncing to popular music (among other things). The app recently exploded in popularity, racking up 99.8 million downloads in the first six months of 2020.

TikTok and WeChat have both been recent targets of the Trump administration due to their data-collection practices.

TikTok, specifically, has recently come under fire for violating Google privacy policies. TikTok collects and documents massive amounts of data from their users, like videos watched and commented on, location data, device type, and copy-and-paste “clipboard” contents. The app even records people’s keystroke rhythms as they type.

The Trump Administration has long been suspicious of TikTok’s data-collection, speculating that TikTok might be sending the data to the Chinese government.

The Trump administration has argued that such massive amounts of data in the hands of a foreign government is a threat to national security. TikTok denies that they are handing over the data to the Chinese government.

TikTok, for their part, are not hiding their displeasure about the ban, releasing a public statement saying: “We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”

This isn’t the first time TikTok has gone toe-to-toe with the Trump administration. The social media company sued the administration in August after Trump signed an executive order enacting broad sanctions against the app. TikTok claimed that the order denied the company of due process.

The TikTok ban is making waves because it marks the first time the U.S. has banned a tech app on the basis of national security concerns.

But some critics are saying that there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason behind the ban. “It just feels to me to be improvisational,” said cyber-security expert Adam Segal.

Both TikTok users and concerned Americans have taken to the internet to express their anger at the Trump administration’s decision.

“Don’t be mistaken folks,” said one Twitter user. “Sunday it will be TikTok. Tomorrow it will be twitter, FB, Instagram…you name it…We must protect free speech!”

Another pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump targeting China when he doesn’t seem to be as concerned about Russia meddling in our internet affairs. “I live in a world where TikTok is a threat to national security but Russian interference in our elections is not,” she said. “This is Trump’s America.”

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Time Is Running Out To Complete The Census, Here’s Why It’s So Important To Make Sure You’re Counted

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Time Is Running Out To Complete The Census, Here’s Why It’s So Important To Make Sure You’re Counted

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The drama over the 2020 Census continues.

First was a Supreme Court decision that found the Trump administration wasn’t being totally honest about it’s reasoning for including the citizenship question on the 2020 Census – so the court effectively removed the question from the census. 

Then, Trump tried to delay the constitutionally mandated census to give his administration more time to come up with a better reason to tell the courts.

None of that worked as planned by the administration, and the Census has continued as normal. However, so many in minority communities – particularly migrant communities – have been fearful of completing this year’s census. Well, new evidence shows just how important it is to make sure we’re all counted.

As the 2020 census winds down, here’s a reminder of why it’s so important to make sure we all complete our census.

Now, more than ever, it is the responsibility of Latinos to fill out the census, or else miss-out on integral funding and representation.

The 2020 Census is ending early, thanks to a decision by the Trump administration to end data collection and outreach sooner than initially planned, which could lead to massive undercounts within BIPOC communities.

The Latinx population is already at a higher risk of being undercounted because of language barriers, fears over immigrant status, and for living in hard-to-reach areas. Latinx leaders are continuously pushing for increased visibility and accessibility to fill-out the census, especially now, as many issues have been overshadowed by a global pandemic.

But at some point, it is not the responsibility of our leaders, but for citizens to take initiative.

Latinos are not filling-out the 2020 Census at the levels they should, and in areas with large Latinx populations, the self-response rate is alarmingly low.

Take for instance, Rep. Nanette Barragán’s district in Los Angeles. In 2010, her district had a self-response rate of 68.6%. Now with the one-month cut-off and the ending of household outreach nearly two weeks early in some areas, her district is now just at 60.1%.

“We cannot let them erase us,” Barragán wrote

But it wasn’t long ago that Trump tried to completely derail this year’s census.

The Trump administration has decided to print the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question, and the printer has been told to start the printing process, Justice Department spokesperson Kelly Laco confirms to NPR.

The move came shortly after the Supreme Court ruled to keep the question off census forms for now and just a day after printing was scheduled to begin for 1.5 billion paper forms, letters, and other mailings.

President Trump had said he wanted to delay the constitutionally mandated headcount to give the Supreme Court a chance to issue a more “decisive” ruling on whether the administration could add the question, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” A majority of the justices found that the administration’s use of the Voting Rights Act to justify the question “seems to have been contrived.”

But according to Trump, all of that info from his own administration is fake news.

President Trump had tweeted that his own Commerce Secretary’s statement, suggesting there would not be pushback on the Supreme Court’s decision to leave a citizenship question out of the census, was “FAKE.”

Here’s his own Tweet about the #fakenews:

CREDIT: @REALDONALDTRUMP / TWITTER

The saga to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census and the emerging divisions within the Trump administration to its implementation follow a months-long court battle that ultimately ended up with a narrow Supreme Court victory for opponents of the question.

Though many on Twitter were already fact-checking the President using statements from his own administration.

CREDIT: @KYLEGRIFFIN1 / TWITTER

I mean if they’ve already started printing the forms, according to numerous administration officials, what could the President be talking about?

Many speculate he’s just trying to position himself as a fighter among his supporters so they think he’s doing all he can to get the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

All this confusion comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision that ruled the Trump administration wasn’t being forthcoming about its real reason for wanting to ask the citizenship question.

CREDIT: @NINATOTENBERG / TWITTER

The Supreme Court left the citizenship question — “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” — blocked from the 2020 census for now, in part because of the government’s explanation for why it added it in the first place.

However, opponents of the question, who have worked for more than a year to get it removed, are claiming victory.

The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, said the court “cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given” by the Trump administration.

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