Skip to comments.Arizona declines to join 17 other states in census lawsuit
Posted on 04/09/2018 5:11:19 AM PDT by SandRat
PHOENIX Arizona's top elected officials, both Republicans, are not going to join the lawsuit filed by Democrat officials in some states challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census even though it could mean that Arizona won't get its fair share of federal dollars and political representation.
Daniel Scarpinato, press aide to Gov. Doug Ducey, said his boss is opposed to more lawsuits.
"And he supports having accurate statistical information,'' Scarpinato said.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich also has no interest in Arizona becoming one of the 17 states, seven cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors which sued the U.S. Department of Commerce over its plans to question everyone about whether they are citizens.
But Brnovich spokesman Ryan Anderson said that should not be seen as an endorsement of the policy change. He said the issue has become "overly politicized,'' with the litigation led largely by Democrat attorneys general, though the Conference of Mayors represents more than 1,400 cities led by elected officials from both major parties.
And Anderson stressed that Brnovich is not exactly thrilled by the decision by federal officials to add yet another question to what is supposed to be, according to the U.S. Constitution, a simple counting of heads.
"We have broad concerns regarding the collection and use of data by the government that go beyond the current lawsuit,'' Anderson said. And he said Brnovich recognizes the potential financial and political implications of an undercount.
"We certainly want the reported numbers in Arizona to accurately reflect our growing population,'' Anderson said.
But while refusing to rule out his own lawsuit down the road, he said Brnovich believes the best course of action, at least for now, is to raise questions with the Trump administration and Congress about the need for the additional information and whether there might be some way to alter that decision between now and when census counters go out in early 2020.
Scarpinato, however, said Ducey is not convinced it is obvious that there will be an undercount and, even if so, it will affect Arizona's share of federal dollars. Nor does he see any problem with the question itself.
"What's the harm in additional information?'' Scarpinato said.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in New York contends the new question could deter those not in the country legally from responding at all to the decennial count.
What makes that significant is that these counts have significant financial and political implications.
Some forms of federal financial aid are distributed based on population. If a state is undercounted, it won't get its fair share.
Arizona could end up on the short end of the deal.
The Pew Research Center estimates there were about 325,000 people who were here illegally as of September 2016, its most recent report. That is about 4.7 percent of the state population at the same time.
By comparison, undocumented population nationwide in 2016 was 3.5 percent.
And there's something else.
Representation in the U.S. House will be reallocated using the figures from the 2020 count.
Arizona, which is growing faster than much of the rest of the country, is likely to pick up a tenth House seat. But the question of whether it gets another could depend on the count.
There also are intrastate issues.
As on the federal level, some forms of state revenue sharing are allocated according to population. So communities could be shorted if they have a higher-than-average percentage of undocumented residents who choose not to answer the census.
Similarly, when the Independent Redistricting Commission realigns the state's 30 legislative districts which are supposed to have nearly equal population it will be using data from the 2020 census.
The lawsuit says it's clear that adding the question to the count will affect the outcome.
`As defendants' own research shows, this decision will 'inevitably inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count' by significantly deterring participation in immigrant communities, because of concerns about how the federal government will use citizenship information,'' the legal papers read. And it says the the concerns "have been amplified by the anti-immigrant policies, actions, and rhetoric targeting immigrant communities from President Trump and this Administration.''
Anderson said the concerns of his boss into government intrusion go beyond the citizenship question.
"The census calls for a count of individuals,'' he said. "There are broader questions of why does the government need to know how long it takes us to get to work, for example.''
But Anderson was cautious in terms of what voters should take of those concerns.
"The attorney general is not going to advocate for individuals to boycott the census,'' he said. "But there is also the fundamental issue here that every individual, regardless of citizenship status, is always free to not answer questions they feel is a violation of their privacy.''
The concern about the political nature of the citizenship question was amplified during a press conference earlier this week announcing the multi-state lawsuit.
"This is a brazen attempt by the Trump administration to cheat on the census, to undermine the accuracy of the census and to attack states that have large immigrant populations, states most of which just happen to be Democratic states,'' said Congressman Jerrold Nadler a New York Democrat.
All you'd know reading this article is that the author hates that AZ is OK with asking the question.
the Sierra Vista Herald promotes illegal aliens.
“...even though it could mean that Arizona won’t get its fair share of federal dollars and political representation.”
Maryland on the other hand is just stupid. The mental midgets in the General Asylum voted last year to give full and unfettered authority to the mentally deficient leftist commie Attorney General to sue the Trump Administration for whatever he wants with no limits or oversight.
(Of course, if there is ever a republican AG and democrat President, they’ll find some reason to rescind that order)
Brian Frosh, the AG is a hardcore America hating liberal of the worst kind. Anything good people stand for he’s against.
Go google him. He even looks like a liberal. He’s the guy you’d see driving an old VW bus with peace signs and flowers painted on the side listening to the Crosby Stills and Nash and dreaming of a Woodstock Reunion.
They do not need more state support , just the right Supreme Court ruling.(It will need to be Decided by the SC right?But the Census needs to be Ready by January 2020 for Mailing by March 2020? That is the end of next year.)
Made by dishonest people....
We could have an entire discussion on the meaning and parameters of the phrase thrown around loosely in this article: “fair share.”
How many illegals really fill out the census?
Seems to me if a state gets enough funds for the lawful citizens,but not enough for the illegals,then the illegals can pound sand. That seems fair.
A who’s who of states and municipalities to avoid at all costs. Surprised by Iowa.
noy not Gov Moon Beam and his band of loonies
Wow. Its generally regarded as difficult to get this many buts and even thought into a piece of prose this long, but this author pulled it off!
Because it's only fair that citizens pay for the invasion of their own country....
Scrap the census, scrap the Bureau(s) who use the numbers, fire the employees, and sell off all infrastructure and property. Realize a cost savings, sleep well knowing that untold millions of taxpayers dollars are no longer being foolishly squandered.
The census is a Constitutional mandate. That being said, most of the infrastructure could well be scrapped.
Anyone who has ever done their family’s genealogy will tell you that these censuses are a joke and have always been a joke.
> By comparison, undocumented population nationwide in 2016 was 3.5 percent.
What a coincidence, that works out exactly to the supposed 11 million figure they have been peddling for the last 25 years.
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