On Topic 125: Citizenship & The Census

On Topic 125: Citizenship & The Census


(suspenseful music) – Welcome to WSIU On
Topic, I’m Jak Tichenor along with John Jackson
visiting professor with the Paul Simon
Public Policy Institute. We’re here to discuss the
Trump administration’s recent decision to add a
questionnaire about citizenship on the next census
questionnaire in 2020. What are the
implications for Illinois on that Dr. Jackson? – There are two major ones and
they’re both bad for Illinois and they both last for 10 years. Number one, we’re for
sure going to lose one congressional
seat in the house. This will probably
push us over to lose a second congressional
district and so we will go from 18 to 16 and that’s of
course for the next 10 years. The second one is a
yearly hit on the income from the federal government
that comes to the states in a wide variety of
grants and other programs. Those are almost always
partially driven or fully driven by population count. So if our count goes
down, our income goes down and that will last
for the next 10 years. – And that impacts programs
like Medicaid and the like because a lotta those are
federal dollars coming directly back to the state. Why is the Trump
administration doing this? – Well, they say it’s because
they want to have better enforcement of voting rights
act that hardly passes the laugh test because they’ve
not been that concerned about the voting rights act. Most people think that’s
political cover because it makes it hard to get a count among particularly
undocumented people and in places like Carbondale it’s important to know college
students are hard to find and hard to count. All kinds of more
transient populations, people who move a
lot and young people particularly move a lot. All of those populations are
already very hard to find and very hard to count. And so that will take its toll. – And in the case of
the state of Illinois, the state Attorney
General, Lisa Madigan, is joined with Attorneys General from around 17 other states
and big cities like Chicago and trying to overturn this. What do you think
the chances are? – Well it’s hard to say. It’s worth filing. The U.S. Constitution says
people and demands a head count, not a citizenship count,
so the constitution’s clear on that. It’s also possible that
you could make a decent equal protection of the
laws kind of argument. I would suspect that
the Attorneys General
would be making those kinds of arguments. – John Jackson,
thanks very much. Always a pleasure to
have you on the program. Good to see you. Thanks for watching as well on this edition
of WSIU, On Topic. (suspenseful music)

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