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"Arbitrary," "Unlawful," "Cynical," "Bad faith"

Why is Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross so desperate to force a citizenship question onto the 2020 census?

Ross's explanation is that the Department of Justice requested it, so they could enforce the Voting Rights Act.

That's a noble explanation, but it's also completely untrue.

For one thing, the Trump administration has done everything in its power to gut the Voting Rights Act. No one believes that they're looking for ways to make sure it's enforced.

For another, Ross demanded the change in the census, and then went casting about for justification. After everyone he asked – the Census Bureau, past Census chiefs, conservative think tanks, the business community, not to mention the American people – told him it was a bad idea, he lobbied Attorney General Jeff Sessions to formally request a citizenship question.

Two federal courts have already determined that Ross concealed the truth about his process and his motives. In fact, they've used words like "arbitrary," "unlawful," "cynical," and "acted in bad faith" when describing his actions.

And while Ross hasn't come clean about his actual motive for forcing this issue, it's pretty clear to me that it's yet another example of this administration's war on immigration – particularly Latino immigration. It's an undisguised attempt to intimidate, devalue, and erase Americans of Latin descent, documented or not.

Next month, the case will land before the Supreme Court. I'll keep in touch as it unfolds.

In the meantime, join the conversation on Facebook.


Posted on April 4, 2019.

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Joe Kennedy III represents Massachusetts' 4th District in Congress. A principled and passionate advocate for economic, social, and racial justice, Joe is working to improve access to quality, affordable health care, and is determined to fight for all who call this country home.

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