Democrats Accuse the Trump Administration of Playing Politics with 2020 Census During Politically-Charged Press Conference
Jennifer G. Hickey
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gathered with fellow Democrats on May 8 to argue that the Trump administration decided to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census as part of a partisan effort to “starve communities” of vital resources and undercount minorities.In March, Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross announceda “question on citizenship status” would be reinstated to the 2020 Census questionnaire “to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.” The decision was prompted by a request from the Justice Department to add a citizenship question.“It is not based on data, but a decision simply rooted in American First nationalism,” charged Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), who added that it was clear the change exposed an anti-immigrant bias and a disdain for minority communities.In order to determine their motives, Gomez said it was necessary to introduce in the House a resolution of inquiry to force the Commerce Department to hand over documents related to their reasoning.The press conference echoed the tone taken since March by Democrats and open border advocates.Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) offered a preview of his performance at an afternoon hearingof the House Oversight and Government Reform committee on the status of preparations for the census.Although the hearing was held after Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) agreed to the demands of the minority, that fact did not prevent Cummings from attacking Republicans.“Trump cannot [undermine the accuracy of the Census] without the aiders and abettors in the Republican Party,” who Cummings added, were preventing Democrats from conducting oversight.Pelosi called the decision a “desecration of the Constitution” and a “dog whistle” to anti-immigrant supporters, while Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) went one racially-explosive step further when he said adding the citizenship question was “ethnic cleansing.”At the conclusion of the dramatics, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) was asked why their effort was not bipartisan. She had a simple and illuminating response.Maloney, said there were Republicans who’d joined a lawsuit filed by 18 state attorneys general – in particular Oregon’s attorney general.Maloney, should be aware that Oregon attorney general Ellen Rosenblum is like all of the others involved in the lawsuit a Democrat. In this argument, motives and rhetoric matters, but apparently not the facts.
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