Merrill backs Trump, Alabama push to count only citizens in census — ‘There are two congressional districts in California that shouldn’t even exist’
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill on Thursday submitted a letter to the Trump administration expressing his support of the president’s push to include a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census, an action that has also long been advocated for by Attorney General Steve Marshall and Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05).
In a press release on Friday, Merrill emphasized that gathering accurate information through the census is vital for properly determining the number of congressional seats and Electoral College votes delegated to the Yellowhammer State in upcoming redistricting.
The possibility of counting undocumented aliens to determine these apportionments “is devastating news,” Merrill said.
“Alabama could lose a seat in Congress if non-U.S. citizens are calculated in the 2020 Census and in other parts of the nation,” he advised. “Alabama has a great deal at stake with the data produced by the 2020 Census if non-U.S. citizens are counted.”
“We don’t need to be giving benefits to people who are non-citizens over people who are citizens, period. There are two districts in Los Angeles County, California that currently have less than 40% United States citizenship in population. That means there are two congressional districts in California that shouldn’t even exist,” the secretary of state continued.
He stressed that this is a straightforward issue of fairness.
“When you start counting citizens, then you will have citizens represented in Congress. When you start counting everybody, even those people that may not be citizens, you’re giving advantage to people that allow illegals to come into their community,” Merrill concluded. “That is not a positive thing for anybody.”
This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court recently threw up a roadblock in President Donald Trump’s quest to include a citizenship question on the upcoming census. The president reportedly is considering including the question via executive order now, among other options.
Separately, Marshall and Brooks have helped lead the charge nationally through their pending federal lawsuit that would ensure illegal aliens are not counted in the data that determines congressional apportionment.
Watch Attorney General Steve Marshall explain how last week’s #SCOTUS decision blocking a citizenship question on the 2020 census will have no effect on Alabama’s lawsuit over the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to count illegal aliens in the data used to determine apportionment ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ewTnBlSdgf
— AG Steve Marshall (@AGSteveMarshall) July 3, 2019
Regardless of whether the citizenship question is ultimately included or what data is utilized, it is vital for Alabama that its people fully participate in the 2020 Census.
Thus, Governor Kay Ivey is spearheading a campaign to encourage Alabamians to do just that.
“The 2020 Census will play a major role in shaping our state’s future, so it is critical that we do everything we can to educate all of our residents about the importance of participation and motivate them to complete and submit their census forms in March and April 2020,” the governor has said.
You can learn more here.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn