Trump lost the Census battle but his threats remain intact
While everyone says the president was "defeated" on the battle for introducing the citizenship question in the 2020 Census, others see a cure far worse than the original disease.
After Judge John Roberts lined up with liberal judges of the Supreme Court to block the proposal of a citizenship question in the 2020 census, the battle of Donald Trump and his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, for a new weapon to persecute immigrants seemed finally thwarted.
To the point that the president told the media in the Rose Garden of the White House that "we are not backing down in our effort to determine the immigration status of the population of the United States."
Accompanied by Ross and his Attorney General, William Barr, Trump said he would issue an executive order that will force federal departments and agencies to turn over their databases to the Census Bureau.
“As shocking as it may be, far-left Democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst,” he added. “They probably know the number is far greater, much higher than anyone would have ever believed before. Maybe that’s why they fight so hard. This is part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen and is very unfair to our country.”
The president thus erased any doubt that his intentions with the census had to do with anything beyond the reinforcement of his anti-immigrant agenda and his re-election campaign.
According to the New York Times, the use of data from federal agencies could influence the restructuring of districts and "change the balance of power in American politics.”
“Places with large numbers of residents who cannot vote — including children, noncitizens who are in the country legally, unauthorized immigrants and people disenfranchised after committing felonies — on the whole tend to be urban and to vote Democratic,” the media added. “Districts based on equal numbers of eligible voters would generally move political power away from cities and toward older and more homogeneous rural areas that tend to vote for Republicans.”
Although many interpret the president's speech on Thursday as a way to avoid accepting his defeat, the tone of threat and political proselytism remain intact in his rhetoric.
His phrase "we will leave no stone unturned" sums it up quite well.
Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), said in a statement that the president's decision not to include the question "will at least give us a fighting chance to attempt to tackle the monumental task of counting every person living in the United States."
For the organization, "an undercount of Latinos, who account for nearly one of every five persons in the United States, would mean a failed Census for the country.”
This would imply "a significant investment from this administration and millions in taxpayer dollars to overcome the lingering and chilling effects of the citizenship question effort.”
Similarly, NALEO warned of the need to closely observe the executive decision of the president since it could possibly violate the Voting Rights Act, "affecting the ability of Latinos to elect the candidates of their choice, or influence the redistricting process.”
For its part, the Latino Victory Project insisted that, after the president’s defeat, "we must ensure that we maximize our communities’ participation in the census to ensure that everyone is counted."