Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Making the Census Great Again

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

“Is this person a citizen of the United States?” This 2020 census question, or something similar, was asked on the decennial census from 1820 through 1950, and afterward on the long-form census through 2000.

Even now, and ever since 2005, a citizenship question has been included in the annual American Community Survey (ACS) by the federal government. Not even President Obama stopped that.

So why all the fuss about this citizenship question now? Apparently opposition to President Trump means opposition to virtually everything he does, and resorting to judicial activism to stymie Trump in every way possible.

The census is used to apportion the Electoral College and representation in Congress, so there is political significance to puffing up the population count for California and other sanctuary states by including illegal aliens as legal residents. Dollars are also at stake because more people in a state mean more federal dollars flowing to it.

The census must count every person living in the United States, but citizens and aliens should be counted separately in every state and electoral district. President Trump, through his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, restored this question about citizenship to the 2020 census, and a barrage of lawsuits ensued to stop it.

There is nothing racist in asking about citizenship. It may be racist, or at least anti-American, to oppose a citizenship question so that illegal aliens are counted as citizens and sanctuary states unfairly obtain more congressmen and Electoral College votes than they deserve.

It is fictional to pretend that American Hispanics are less likely to respond to a census question about citizenship. Citizenship is something nearly all Americans are proud of, and there is no right of privacy at stake.

There is no reason to expect any American citizen to be hesitant to respond if he is a citizen. Employers and schools ask about citizenship, as does the federal government on application forms.

Yet in a textbook example of legislating from the bench, an Obama-appointed judge held a trial in Manhattan federal court to take this issue away from President Trump and Congress. There are two sets of plaintiffs: 18 States, D.C., 15 cities and counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors form one set, and liberal advocacy groups form the other.

Plaintiffs asserted a headline-grabbing claim that asking about American citizenship is invidious racial discrimination in violation of the Constitution. They demanded a right to depose the Commerce Secretary to ask him if he is a racist.

The allegation was absurd, but falsely claiming that Republicans are racists is how the Left advances its agenda. The Supreme Court shut down an unprecedented attempt to depose the Trump Cabinet member Secretary Ross in this case, after it had been ordered by the trial judge.

Plaintiffs also sought to block the citizenship question based on the mundane Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs insisted that it is somehow arbitrary to ask if someone is an American citizen, even though many companies and institutions ask this regularly of new applicants.
On Tuesday, federal Judge Jesse Furman issued a 277-page opinion to prohibit the inclusion of this 9-word citizenship question in the upcoming census. He did not expressly hold that the question was racist, but implied without any support in the record that it might be.

He stated his mission as one to “smoke out” racism, in order to uncover hidden forms of discrimination. He implied his disagreement with the Supreme Court, which prevented Judge Furman from requiring Commerce Secretary Ross to testify about his allegedly hidden motives.

But no such racism could ever be found. Unable to latch onto any testimony by Ross, Judge Furman instead thrashed those who worked for him.

Earl Comstock, who was just doing his job as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy under Ross, became a punching bag for the court’s complaints about a policy change it does not like. Other Trump officials took a beating from the court based on snippets from routine email communications, patched together in the decision as though there was something wrong with them.

This ruling was based on mere procedure, not substance. In 277 pages there is nothing to justify branding President Trump, Secretary Ross, or anyone else as a racist.

The court admitted that the Framers of the Constitution “had a strong constitutional interest in the accuracy of the census.” President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross fully agree, which is why the traditional question about whether someone is an American citizen is an essential part of the census.

Fortunately, the census case is already scheduled for oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in February. So Tuesday’s ruling against asking about citizenship is not going to be the last word on the issue.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The High Cost of No Wall

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

There is no moral high ground in opposing the border security wall sought by President Trump to protect Americans. Yet that is the script which Democrats use to stonewall our President to prevent him from building the Wall Americans want and need.

“No, no, nothing for the wall,” Nancy Pelosi said in her first TV interview after accepting the gavel as the new Speaker of the House last week. “That sends the wrong message about who we are as a country.”

Pelosi’s San Francisco colleague Gavin Newsom, newly sworn in as governor of California, stunned many by promising to provide “sanctuary to all who seek it.” He declared that under his leadership California would become “the first state in the nation to cover young undocumented adults through a state Medicaid program.”

“A wall is an immorality,” Pelosi stated further to another group of reporters who gathered outside the House chamber. “It’s not who we are as a nation.”

Have you noticed how often liberal Democrats claim they represent “who we are” and that anything President Trump supports is “not who we are”? The same phrase was a verbal tic of Barack Obama, who used it at least 46 times during his first 7 years as President, according to a video montage collected on the internet.

A different viewpoint about “who we are as a nation” was given by Rajnil Singh at the tragic funeral of his brother, Ronil, at the CrossPoint Community Church in Modesto, California. Ronil Singh, a police corporal in nearby Newman, California, had been shot to death at 1 a.m. on December 26 by an illegal alien from Mexico.

“We both view serving our country and communities through law enforcement as important to who we are,” a grieving Rajnil said to the 4,000 mourners, who included 2,000 uniformed officers from more than 100 agencies in California and other states. “It is our way of giving back to a country that has embraced us and our families.”

Growing up in Fiji, a small island nation in the South Pacific, the Singh brothers watched the American TV show COPS, and Ronil decided he wanted to become one. After immigrating legally to California in 2003, Ronil studied criminal justice at the local community college in Modesto before landing his dream job with the Newman Police Department.

After tweeting a picture of himself in front of his Christmas tree at home with his wife, their 5-month old son, and his police dog Sam, Cpl. Singh volunteered to patrol the empty streets of Newman on the normally quiet evening of December 25. Just after midnight, during a routine traffic stop of a driver who appeared to be intoxicated, Cpl. Singh was shot multiple times by the driver who then sped off in his unlicensed pickup truck.

Murder and mayhem by illegal aliens is rampant but rarely makes national news anymore, even when the victim is a uniformed officer on duty. What makes this case especially heinous is how the murderer was protected by a network of other illegal aliens who helped him elude capture and try to make a run for the border.

After 55 hours on the run from the law with the assistance of at least 7 other illegal aliens, the suspect using the alias Gustavo Perez Arriaga was arrested December 28 in Bakersfield, which is 200 miles away and nearly halfway to the Mexican border. The 7 other Mexicans have been charged with being an accessory after the fact, aiding and abetting, harboring and shielding from detection, and similar offenses.

One of Gustavo’s accomplices provided him with changes of clothing; another helped conceal his vehicle and drove him to multiple locations to hide; another provided shelter; another drove him to a store to buy a prepaid cell phone. Yet another accomplice disposed of the murder weapon, a 9mm pistol that had been reported stolen in another state, in a trash bin.

An additional accomplice accepted a wire transfer of $500 from an unknown source and used the money for a human trafficker to transport the murderer back to Mexico. Police determined that it was the same human trafficker who had brought the killer across the border illegally in the first place several years ago.

California brags it is a sanctuary state, and this is what sanctuary means: a place where an illegal alien can kill a cop and then disappear into a vast community of other illegal aliens willing to defy our laws in order to protect their fellow aliens from justice.

Nancy Pelosi was right: a wall does send a message. The message is that this is our country, and we have the right to close our doors to unwanted visitors, and decide who we will allow to enter.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on pseagles.com.