Dr. John Baker Jr. recently spoke at a teleforum hosted by the Federalist Society and discussed the citizenship question on the 2020 US Census.
Here are three main takeaways from the teleforum:
- Baker started the conversation by comparing the US Census with the American Community Survey (ACS) that is sent out every year by the US Census Bureau. According to the US Census Bureau, “The [ACS] is conducted every year to provide up-to-date information about the social and economic needs of [a] community.” The ACS is sent out to a small sample of members in a community and a response is legally required. Dr. Baker mentioned that not only is asking a citizenship question not new for the census, it has been asked in every year the ACS has been administered.
- When looking at the potential harm of the a citizenship question, Dr. Baker stated that the census data cannot be legally shared. He stated that an arrest cannot be made based on a person responding on the census that he or she is not a US citizen.
- Finally, Dr. Baker seemed to be skeptical of California’s lawsuit against the citizenship question being asked on the 2020 US Census. California has passed automatic voter registration for those applying or renewing a driver’s license. Dr. Baker mentioned that when applying for a license, or renewing a license, now a person is required to show that he or she is a US citizen. This is done to prevent a non-US citizen from being placed on voting rolls and prevent possible voter fraud. To Dr. Baker, this type of intrusiveness that California has done to get a driver’s license is no different than asking a citizenship question on the US Census.
While liberals have attempted to make the citizenship question a political issue, as Dr. Baker pointed out, data about citizenship can be a valuable tool to preserve the integrity of elections, ensure that voter registration records are accurate, and prevent fraud.
Listen to the Federalist Society’s teleforum here