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  March 29, 2018

The Census: Hidden Agenda Behind Trump's Citizenship Question

The Trump administration wants to include a citizenship status question on the census form, which would allow officials to create a list of supposedly alien voters that they would challenge in the 2020 election--a deadly serious misuse of databases, says investigative journalist Greg Palast
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SHARMINI PERIES: It's the Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore.

In 12 states, including New York, California, Illinois, they're expected to challenge a Trump administration on its requests to the Census Bureau to include a citizenship status question on your 2020 census form. Here is the attorney general of New York, Scheiderman. He's making his case for the challenge.

ERIC SCHEIDERMAN: The Federal Government has to conduct a full and fair count of all people in the country, citizens and noncitizens alike. The census count is essential for determining congressional representation, for determining how federal funds are allocated to state and local governments. Very important for basic functions of government. And up until now Republicans and Democrats alike have tried to conduct as full a fair account as possible. The Trump administration is breaking with that tradition. They are now trying to put into the census a question requiring people to tell what their immigration status is, if they're citizens or not. This we know from 40 years of statements by census officials will prevent them from making the full and fair count that they are required to under the Constitution. It's wrong. It's bad public policy. And it would hurt places like New York that have large immigrant populations.

So right now there is an atmosphere of fear in many immigrant communities. It's well-known that this administration has expressed, and we've beaten them in court several times, because of their open animus towards immigrants. This would scare people away from the census. We know it would result in undercounts, it would result in injustice. It's unconstitutional. It's unlawful and it's just plain unfair. So I'll be in court with a multi-state coalition of my colleagues from around the country to stop this.

SHARMINI PERIES: We spoke to Greg Palast, who has been researching the issue of voter suppression and voter fraud, about the ways in which this citizenship status information gathered in the 2020 census could be used in fraudulent ways to suppress your vote.

GREG PALAST: In fact, the latest scam, this is important, is this new question about citizenship. The census. They're returning to the census to ask, how many people in your household are noncitizens? That was created, again, by this same guy, Kris Kobach of Kansas, Donald Trump's Vote Thief in Chief. And understand that Kobach has claimed, and his buddy Donald Trump has repeated, that one million aliens have voted in our election. One million. And to prove it what he wants to do is take your answers on the census form, and say if someone, if you're in the Hernandez household, they say three people in the Hernandez household are noncitizens. That doesn't mean illegal aliens, you know, people with green cards, that we have noncitizens in a household. Everyone in that household is going to have their vote challenged, and you'll have to prove you are a citizen, which is not so easy because we don't have citizenship cards in the United States. Remember, a Social Security card, a driver's license doesn't help you.

So again, here they want to use the database trick by using, now they've got control of the government, they don't need Cambridge Analytica. They don't need i360. They've got control of the government. So what they want to do is use the census to create a hit list of supposed alien voters that they will then challenge in the 2020 election. This is deadly serious misuse of databases. That's what that whole citizenship business is about. And that's the hidden agenda. And in fact the White House has said, when questioned why do you wants the citizenship question, they have said to enforce the Voting Rights Act. It has to do with voting. Kris Kobach has said this idea came from him, and his intent was to use it to match census answers to your voter registration. And that's really, really dangerous stuff. You're going to see a million votes, I kid you not, because that's their own estimate, that 1 million voters will be challenged before the 2020 election.

SHARMINI PERIES: Thanks for joining us here on the Real News Network.

Photo via Twitter @TheNiLPnetwork


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