There is quite a bit of fuss about a particular question in the 2020 census.
Many Democrats are contending that a question asking about the citizenship status of people is an attempt to under-count Hispanics who are often not citizens and will be nervous to check off the “not a U.S. citizen” box in the form in fear of being deported. Many of these non-citizens live in urban areas which vote Democratic, and the Democratic politicians are looking to boost their weight in Congress and budgetary allocations so want to ensure as many people fill out the census forms in Democratic strongholds as possible. Anything which might hurt their personal politics is repulsive.
But the census forms are filled out anonymously. The forms specifically state that the information collected is private and confidential. Are the Democrats worried that the census results will show that the number of people in a census block is much lower than the number of voters, proving severe voting irregularities with many people voting in elections who are non-citizens? That there is a perfect correlation between high levels of non-citizens and newly minted “sanctuary cities”?
According to the US Census Bureau, the citizenship question has been asked for many years, “in 1820, 1830, 1870 and 1890 to present.” Why the sudden hullabaloo?
If people were really concerned about the Hispanic population and not their own politics, why not challenge the government asking about the origin of Hispanics? Why does it matter if someone came to the United States from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba or El Salvador? Will the government use a different dialect of Spanish in some forms? Will it change the meal plans at schools?
The census form has a distinct question about race, not related to the Hispanic question. The race question asks Asians to specify if they are Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese and other. That is understandable as each speaks different languages. Further, the government states that it asks questions about race to “evaluate government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of all racial groups and to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination laws.” Seems fair enough.
But why does the form separate Hispanics into a different category outside of race? The Census Bureau clarifies:
“Though many respondents expect to see a Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish category on the race question, this question is asked separately because people of
Hispanic origin may be of any race(s) in accordance with the 1997 Office of Management and Budget standards on race and ethnicity.”
Are only Hispanics of mixed race? In the race question, respondents are allowed to check off more than one box (say, White and Black), but not so in the Hispanic question. That seems bizarre. A person cannot be both Cuban and Puerto Rican?
When the FBI reports on hate crimes – a pretty good indicator of whether there is discrimination in society – it doesn’t break down the details of “anti-Hispanic or Latino” into Cuban or Dominican, so why is there a need for so much granular detail in the census? In 2017, the number of hate crimes against Jews was more than against Hispanics, Arabs, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific-Islanders COMBINED. If the US government is really concerned about discrimination, why doesn’t the census ask questions about religion?
It is far more likely that the government is extracting details of the country of origin in the census as a matter of mapping international relations. More Mexicans in the US may mean reconsidering trade policy with Mexico, or changing the visa and immigration policy. If the US governments finds a spike in Hondurans in the United States, it might decide to either cap or relax immigration policy with Honduras, and similarly with each of the Latin American countries where the majority of US immigrants are coming from.
That’s a real concern for the Hispanic community which no one discusses.
If Democrats really cared about the Hispanic community and not about their own personal politics, it would attempt to abolish the census question which might limit immigration from Latin America, not the power of Democratic kingpins.
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