Readers React: If a citizenship question is unacceptable, is there anything we can do about immigration?

US President Donald J. Trump, Washington, USA - 11 Jul 2019
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross listens as President Trump speaks about citizenship and the U.S. census at the White House on Thursday.
(Michael Reynolds / EPA-EFE/REX )

To the editor: Let me see if I have this right about objections to a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and President Trump’s decision to tally the non-citizen population by other means.

We effectively are not allowed to know how many illegal immigrants are in our country. We cannot deport many of them. Our local law enforcement agencies cannot cooperate with federal immigration agents. We cannot effectively enforce our existing immigration laws. We cannot secure and fortify our southern border.

So I just have one simple question to ask: What exactly are we allowed to do to stop the flow of unauthorized immigrants into our country?

Geoffrey C. Church, Los Angeles



To the editor: Your editorial did not mention another reason why Trump and the Republicans wanted a citizenship question on the census: to gain an advantage in drawing state legislative and, ultimately, federal congressional districts.

Currently, only total population counts are taken into consideration when drawing districts. There simply hasn’t been reliable data on citizen-only counts.

Having citizen-only counts is the first step Republicans need in order to revisit the argument at the Supreme Court. Even if the Supreme Court once again rules that using citizen-only data is unconstitutional, that doesn’t prevent states, especially Republican ones, from using citizen-only numbers in drawing their legislative districts.


The attempt to add a citizenship question to the census was yet another form of unfair political tactics used by Republicans to hold onto power.

Arman Afagh, Irvine

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