Donald Trump is using the citizenship question on the census and ICE raids to feed his shrinking political base. It’s another example of his not being president for all the people and using government resources for political means.
Trump caved on adding the citizenship question to the census after being knocked down by the Supreme Court, and another federal judge telling him he couldn’t change his legal team. Analysts were shocked that Trump caved, but he’s caved on multiple occasions, like during the government shutdown when he negotiated a deal where he got nothing.
Trump is now ordering other government agencies to compile citizenship data from existing federal records and to provide those results to the census. This won’t actually work, but it will give the perception to his base that he’s doing something about people who don’t look like them. This is a base that believes he’s actually building the wall and that Mexico will ultimately pay for it.
Trump and Republicans want to use the census for states to draw state, local, and congressional districts on the voting-eligible population. This will make an electorate that is more white and less diverse than the nation at large, whose majority is rejecting Republican policies. Republicans can’t win honestly anymore, so they’ll cheat and change the rules any way they can.
In selling this discrimination scheme, Republicans are lying. Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed the citizenship question was asked until 2010, which is a lie. It hasn’t been a standard question since the 1950 census. Many of the Trump cult claim Obama removed it from the census, which of course is another lie unless, somehow he had it removed before the 1960 census shortly before his birth in Kenya in 1961. He was a busy baby.
The other detail is, the census has ALWAYS counted noncitizens starting with the first census in 1790. Congressional districts have always included noncitizens, even if those citizens were only recognized as 3/5ths of a person. This was a huge point of contention for non-slave states as it increased representation in southern states, and diminished theirs. Conservatives have always cheated to win elections and control the government. And yeah, as dumb as it sounds, slaves had congressional representation, even if they couldn’t vote and all their representatives wanted to keep them as slaves. I shouldn’t be giving Republicans any ideas.
Trump announced ICE raids in June, then postponed them. Now, he’s announced they’ll happen this Sunday, with ICE expected to pursue at least 2,000 immigrants.
In the past, Trump criticized the mayor of Oakland for announcing upcoming raids, calling her actions a “disgrace.” The acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director at the time, Thomas Homan, said the mayor’s comments were “no better than a gang lookout yelling, ‘police!’ when a cruiser comes in the neighborhood.” A Republican congressman from Iowa proposed criminal penalties for officials who make similar disclosures. But, it’s OK when Trump or other Republicans do it.
Nobody would resist ICE raids if they were going after real criminals and not people whose only crime was crossing the border. What Trump is doing is ordering ICE to separate more families. Even families that aren’t targeted are under severe stress from this. This disrupts their work, school, and entire lives. That’s OK though because it makes a rabid base frothing at the mouth feel squishy inside.
This is just Trump being mean and hateful which is exactly what his base loves. They love child separation. They love discrimination. “Make America hate again” should be on the hat.
Hopefully, the red meat Trump tosses to his hateful base is the same as Trump steaks, non-existent and a total lie.
Watch Me Draw.