Citizen? What's That?

By Mark Krikorian on September 25, 2009

The head of the Census Bureau said this week that trying to identify the illegal aliens in the upcoming census would not be practical. And he's right — it's not just that the forms have already been printed, but who's going to honestly answer that they're illegal?

The more realistic approach, for the 2020 census, would be require a question on citizenship ("Are you a United States citizen?") on the form, and then base apportionment of House and state legislative seats based only on the number of citizens, using the full count for distributing federal funds and selling data to cereal marketers and whatnot.

And there's plenty of room even on the short form for that (there's no more long form). Take a look at this pdf of the questionaire for next year's census — more than half the space for each person is taken up by questions on race and ethnicity (I measured it). So, your federal government wants to know if you're Puerto Rican or White or Alaska Native or Guamanian or Chamorro, but not if you're an American! Erect a wall of separation between race and state and you'll free up all kinds of space for questions that actually matter.