Census Dickery

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DavidSh
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Re: Census Dickery

Postby DavidSh » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:44 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:.

The Constitution is actually really clear on that.

If it means Citizens, it says Citizens. If it means person, it says Person. All Citizens are Persons, but not all Persons are Citizens. Both are distinct terms with different legal definitions, but the main takeaway is that a person is just some schmuck while a citizen votes.


Certainly the Supreme Court has ruled that not all Persons (for the purposes of the census) were Citizens. See Dred Scott.

I wonder what the "Indians not taxed" category means today?

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CorruptUser
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Re: Census Dickery

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:43 pm UTC

The Constitution is quite clear that if the states restrict the right to vote, their right to vote gets restricted proportionately. But in reality, when Jim Crow was in full swing, this was never enforced. Ironically the civil war eventually gave more power to the southern states, as black people counted as a whole person instead of 3/5 of one. So what the constitution says has always been more of a guideline.

Also, nowhere in the constitution does it say that children of illegal immigrants are citizens. Not even the natural born citizens part. The supreme court ruled way back when that the child of two legal (chinese) residents were citizens, but have never ruled on illegal immigrants; we grant them citizenship but technically may not be required to. This may be an issue since it could go to SCOTUS in the future...

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:52 pm UTC

sardia wrote:What about the Supreme Court and it's final say on what the law means?

Yes, what about the last paragraph I wrote? That’s a good point which is why I was talking about it in that last paragraph. If only I’d mentioned it in the last paragraph where I was discussing how the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution. It’s a shame I didn’t write the last paragraph.

DavidSh wrote:Certainly the Supreme Court has ruled that not all Persons (for the purposes of the census) were Citizens. See Dred Scott.

I wonder what the "Indians not taxed" category means today?
That’s what I get for not checking through the various drafts and going over the whole Slavery thing. My fault there. It’s also notable to point out that Slave states wanted slaves counted as 1 for the purposes of representation and non-slave states wanted slaves counted as 0 as some people sometimes point at it as being a “Ha ha those slave states didn’t think they were people” thing, when the whole 3/5 bit was ... a compromise. Don’t know why that part gets left of the 3/5ths Compromise.

As for the Indians not taxed, that became moot with the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.
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CorruptUser
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Re: Census Dickery

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:08 pm UTC

From Census.gov

Are undocumented residents (aliens) in the 50 states included in the apportionment population counts?
Yes, all people (citizens and noncitizens) with a usual residence in the 50 states are to be included in the census and thus in the apportionment counts.


So it looks like illegal immigrants are to be counted for apportionment...

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:57 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:So the 2020 census is going to have a question as to whether or not the person is a citizen, mostly so that illegal immigrants won't answer and thus won't be counted. My question is thus. From a constitutional perspective, not a moral one, should non-legal residents be counted for purposes of determining the number of representatives a state has? The constitution m, amendment 14 section 2, states that it's based on counting the number of whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed, but I don't know if non-legal residents are included in "whole number of persons".

Interestingly the section goes on to say that if adult non-criminal males have their voting rights restricted, the same restriction shall apply to the representation as a whole; ie, if you don't let black men vote you can't include them for getting representatives, but I've never heard of the Jim Crow states having fewer representatives as a result.


If memory serves, there is case law to the effect that either is valid(Supreme Court case in texas, 2016. Shot down an argument that illegal immigrants can't possibly be used for apportionment). Which is best, ehhhh. Assemble your lawyers, folks. In any case, yeah, a big part of the original constitutional debate was about how many representatives each state would get. That's why you have the somewhat unintuitive result of slaveowning states arguing for counting slaves as people. It wasn't from any moral place, it was a pretty straightforward desire for more power.

This is...pretty much the same here. Democrats are, given policies of sanctuary states, etc, benefited by using one defintion, while Republicans are benefited by the other. That's why both sides have the positions they do.

Yes, undercounting happens. The idea that this particular question is bad for undercounting, and not "are you hispanic"...well, it's doubtful to say the least. As it happens, I live right next to the county suing Trump over this(and lived in it for the 2010 census!). Prince George's County, MD. Yeah, they did get undercounted. By 2.3%. A couple percent might matter, sure, but given that this is literally one of the WORST examples in the country, I don't think it's very good evidence on it's own. And certainly not for this specific question, which wasn't listed. Also, it undercounted black folks by 2.1%, and Hispanic folks by 1.5%. Remember that it undercounted everyone by 2.3%. Those of you who understand averages can see the issue here.

It was probably more on people like my lazy butt who never got around to filling it out, and never had anyone check back. Whoops.

So yeah, the county did a crap job, but the census itself didn't really exclude the minority inhabitants. And there's little reason to think adding a question back would do so.

As a side effect that I'm certain is not the goal of the Republicans advocating this question, the question may actually produce useful data as well. Being able to break out in detail the effects of non-citizens on an area might be illuminating. It's not really a strange question. Many countries ask it, including, say Canada.

But really, the fight is over if political power should accrue to Sanctuary Cities by virtue of having lots of illegal immigrants. This question is intended to give fodder to the "no" side of that.

Chen wrote:
Zohar wrote:The census determines federal funds granted to local towns. It determines voting districts. It determines local programs to help residents. Whether I am a documented or undocumented immigrant, I still pay taxes, I'm still represented by elected officials, and I'm still a person living here. To imply that an undocumented immigrant is not a person is heinous.


How do undocumented immigrants pay income tax? Is there a way to pay that without a SIN? Or do companies just withhold taxes as usual, and then its on THEM to pay the government? Cause it seems like they'd just pocket that amount if there was no way of tracking it.


Depends on the kind of job. If they're faking records and fooling a company, then odds are it's withheld, and they probably won't be getting it back. If they're working as independent contractors, or if they're doing under the table work for cash, then it's not.

Some taxes are paid in other ways, such as sales taxes, however. Avoiding all tax entirely is hard, so pretty much everyone pays at least some, even if they dodge payroll taxation. However, this fight isn't really over taxation.

ObsessoMom wrote:How is your community going to plan for infrastructure projects IF IT DOESN'T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE THOSE PROJECTS NEED TO SERVE? When a sewage system is inadequate for the actual number of people using that system, the resulting sanitation problems will not just sicken the non-citizens. When a transportation system is inadequate for the actual number of people using that system, the resulting gridlock will not just affect the non-citizens. Etc., etc., etc.


Adding the question isn't a means of corrupting the data. They're not going to burn every census that doesn't claim citizenship. They're just asking the question. They are going to know how many people live there(even for the undercounting, they do have an idea of how much undercounting happens, so....they know). The data's quite accurate either way.

Ranbot wrote:Question... Can US Census respondents leave the citizenship question blank?

I've read in a few places there's an often cited law that requires responding to the US census [which hasn't been enforced since the 1970s], but I don't see if that includes not responding to parts of the census. The US census allows people to not respond to questions about their religion, so seems to be some flexibility. If a large enough number of people to leave the question blank in protest, regardless of one's actual citizenship status, that would make data inconclusive and not suitable for redistricting...


In practice, yes. You can opt to not return a form, or return a partially filled out form. Now, a census official may stop by to get additional information, but in practice, there seems to be pretty much no enforcement, regardless of what you are supposed to do.

CorruptUser wrote:So... make it easier for college educated immigrants to immigrate, while restricting uneducated workers?


We already do. Generally speaking, most first world countries have some practical standards for immigration that tend to favor those with education, money and health.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:44 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:So... make it easier for college educated immigrants to immigrate, while restricting uneducated workers?


We already do. Generally speaking, most first world countries have some practical standards for immigration that tend to favor those with education, money and health.


Even easier than we already do, I mean. Open up more slots for foreign students, which also has the effect of bringing in more money to the states since each kid is literally a quarter million, makes more of the world culturally American, specifically the parts of the world that rule the rest, and also provides a nice "insurance" policy against nuclear war in that no Chinese general is going to order a nuclear strike on the city his daughter is in.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby idonno » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:23 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Adding the question isn't a means of corrupting the data. They're not going to burn every census that doesn't claim citizenship. They're just asking the question. They are going to know how many people live there(even for the undercounting, they do have an idea of how much undercounting happens, so....they know). The data's quite accurate either way.

That depends on how you expect people to respond to the form containing this question. If this works as a scare tactic and causes certain groups of people to not turn in forms, it is a means of corrupting data.

ObsessoMom wrote:How is your community going to plan for infrastructure projects IF IT DOESN'T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE THOSE PROJECTS NEED TO SERVE? When a sewage system is inadequate for the actual number of people using that system, the resulting sanitation problems will not just sicken the non-citizens. When a transportation system is inadequate for the actual number of people using that system, the resulting gridlock will not just affect the non-citizens. Etc., etc., etc.

I have been involved in both sewage and transport projects and, assuming the models are being calibrated competently, I doubt this would harm either of those significantly. For sewage, the typical assumption is something like 300 gpd per house and slightly less per apartment unit and you should have actual counts of structures as well as building permits, platting, and zoning information (commercial/industrial buildings are more complicated but the census is pretty much worthless for computing that so it doesn't matter for this conversation). Traffic demand models, TDM, take a lot of actual traffic count data which should either normalize under counted census values or create an obvious disconnect between growth rates if a census projection is low that should alert someone to investigate and correct the issue (this is of course assuming that the model is using census data at all). As for incompetently calibrated models, bad census data would be pretty far down my list of concerns since they aren't going to produce trustworthy results no matter the quality of data they receive.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby Leovan » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:03 am UTC

I'll be answering that question as an immigrant. Wouldn't it be more suspicious to not return the census and then have census workers show up at your door asking questions? What prevents an illegal immigrant from simply claiming they're citizens? Frankly I just don't buy the idea that this will keep immigrants from responding in large numbers, nor do I find it a bad question, although the state should know full well how many immigrants it has and where they live. I have to register when I move... Sort of like in my home country, everyone deregisters with their community when they leave and registers where they arrive. Can't rent or buy unless you're registered properly. Although we also don't have tax withholding so they need to know where you live to tax you.
Although the process to get a Green Card in my case wasn't outlandish, it did take waaaay too long. I'm married to an American and have a Master's degree in Engineering with enough savings to last me a while, and it took 18 months to process my paperwork.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:07 pm UTC

idonno wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Adding the question isn't a means of corrupting the data. They're not going to burn every census that doesn't claim citizenship. They're just asking the question. They are going to know how many people live there(even for the undercounting, they do have an idea of how much undercounting happens, so....they know). The data's quite accurate either way.

That depends on how you expect people to respond to the form containing this question. If this works as a scare tactic and causes certain groups of people to not turn in forms, it is a means of corrupting data.


Is there any evidence for this?

Did it function in this fashion when we used it before? Does it function in that fashion for countries that use it now?

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:39 pm UTC

idonno wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:How is your community going to plan for infrastructure projects IF IT DOESN'T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE THOSE PROJECTS NEED TO SERVE? When a sewage system is inadequate for the actual number of people using that system, the resulting sanitation problems will not just sicken the non-citizens. When a transportation system is inadequate for the actual number of people using that system, the resulting gridlock will not just affect the non-citizens. Etc., etc., etc.

I have been involved in both sewage and transport projects and, assuming the models are being calibrated competently, I doubt this would harm either of those significantly. For sewage, the typical assumption is something like 300 gpd per house and slightly less per apartment unit and you should have actual counts of structures as well as building permits, platting, and zoning information (commercial/industrial buildings are more complicated but the census is pretty much worthless for computing that so it doesn't matter for this conversation). Traffic demand models, TDM, take a lot of actual traffic count data which should either normalize under counted census values or create an obvious disconnect between growth rates if a census projection is low that should alert someone to investigate and correct the issue (this is of course assuming that the model is using census data at all). As for incompetently calibrated models, bad census data would be pretty far down my list of concerns since they aren't going to produce trustworthy results no matter the quality of data they receive.


Thanks, idonno.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby duckshirt » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:11 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
DavidSh wrote:Certainly the Supreme Court has ruled that not all Persons (for the purposes of the census) were Citizens. See Dred Scott.

I wonder what the "Indians not taxed" category means today?
That’s what I get for not checking through the various drafts and going over the whole Slavery thing. My fault there.

Not sure what you're apologizing for. All you said was not all Persons are Citizens - true.
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Re: Census Dickery

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:11 pm UTC

duckshirt wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:
DavidSh wrote:Certainly the Supreme Court has ruled that not all Persons (for the purposes of the census) were Citizens. See Dred Scott.

I wonder what the "Indians not taxed" category means today?
That’s what I get for not checking through the various drafts and going over the whole Slavery thing. My fault there.

Not sure what you're apologizing for. All you said was not all Persons are Citizens - true.

My assertion is that Persons are to be counted for the census. This being the Internet, my assumption that the unspoken “Post 13th amendment” would be understood.

But as I said, because this is the Internet, that cannot go without comment. Admittedly it does appear on the surface to be relevant in that it has a precedent for counting certain categories of people differently, just commenting on it completely ignores the context surrounding the 3/5ths Compromise - namely that Northern, non-slave states wanted slaves to not be counted and Southern, slave states wanted slaves to be counted wholely as a purpose - both wanting to manipulate the number of Representatives Southern States had in Congress - a situation that would likely not occur again as both the States with high undocumented immigrant populations do not have similar political leanings, national desires, and so on as well as all 50 States having undocumented immigrant populations (unlike slavery which was geographically limited)

So my omission allowed a someone to make a pointless point.

My apology is to everyone having to go through that.
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Re: Census Dickery

Postby dg61 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:03 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Zohar wrote:The census determines federal funds granted to local towns. It determines voting districts. It determines local programs to help residents. Whether I am a documented or undocumented immigrant, I still pay taxes, I'm still represented by elected officials, and I'm still a person living here. To imply that an undocumented immigrant is not a person is heinous.


How do undocumented immigrants pay income tax? Is there a way to pay that without a SIN? Or do companies just withhold taxes as usual, and then its on THEM to pay the government? Cause it seems like they'd just pocket that amount if there was no way of tracking it.


My understanding is that undocumented immigrants still pay SS/Payroll taxes if they're employed on the books and of course they'd still pay local property taxes, sales taxes, some local taxes(depending on how those local taxes are precisely assessed. See also http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/19/news/ec ... index.html, which describes a way to pay into the tax system without an SSN.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:45 pm UTC

But illegal immigrants are rarely on the books, or if they are it's through forged documents. All jobs are required to do that I-9 thing to prove that the worker is legally employable, which requires government issued photo ID.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby iamspen » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:04 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Also, nowhere in the constitution does it say that children of illegal immigrants are citizens...


Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment is pretty explicit about this, and is, in actuality, quite easily Googlable.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby cphite » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:22 pm UTC

iamspen wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Also, nowhere in the constitution does it say that children of illegal immigrants are citizens...


Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment is pretty explicit about this, and is, in actuality, quite easily Googlable.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.


The part that is most commonly under debate is the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" - which many people interpret as meaning that children of parents who are citizens of other countries would be excluded; examples would include diplomats, foreign travelers, and people in the country illegally.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby pogrmman » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:30 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
iamspen wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Also, nowhere in the constitution does it say that children of illegal immigrants are citizens...


Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment is pretty explicit about this, and is, in actuality, quite easily Googlable.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.


The part that is most commonly under debate is the phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" - which many people interpret as meaning that children of parents who are citizens of other countries would be excluded; examples would include diplomats, foreign travelers, and people in the country illegally.


But all those people are subject to the jurisdiction of the US. Being a citizen of another country doesn’t exclude you from the laws of the US. (Though I could see making an argument about diplomats — who aren’t fully subject to US jurisdiction).

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby ivnja » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:51 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:(Though I could see making an argument about diplomats — who aren’t fully subject to US jurisdiction).

It's always been my understanding that this, specifically, is what the exception was meant to cover.

Of course, intention doesn't always mean much in the face of attempts to fit the wording the document to different agendas. And I mean that (ha) in as neutral a way as possible - there's been a lot of interpretation and reinterpretation of the Constitution over the last 230 years.
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Re: Census Dickery

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:18 am UTC

iamspen wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Also, nowhere in the constitution does it say that children of illegal immigrants are citizens...


Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment is pretty explicit about this, and is, in actuality, quite easily Googlable.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.


For someone that loves the internet so much, you too should have wiki'd it first.

Elk v Wilkins, Native Americans the ones excluded for not being taxed as mentioned in the Constitution are not automatically US citizens even if they renounce their tribe.

US v Wong Kim Ark, person born to non-dignitary foreign citizens who have permanent domiciles in the US and are carrying on business, are natural born citizens. The Supreme Court has NOT reviewed birthright citizenship since then. The children of illegal immigrants are not guaranteed by the Constitution that they are citizens, but much like language in general, the Constitution says whatever we say it says. It became an issue in the 1990's as large numbers of Mexicans started having kids and everyone started noticing in the hospitals and schools, and is only an issue as rigging the electorate is an American tradition since before the US even existed. That's why we had two Dakotas, a senate and the house of representin', Maine is no longer part of Massachusetts, the 3/5 compromise, etc.

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Re: Census Dickery

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:12 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:But illegal immigrants are rarely on the books, or if they are it's through forged documents. All jobs are required to do that I-9 thing to prove that the worker is legally employable, which requires government issued photo ID.


True, and employers are generally pretty fastidious about that.

But there are workarounds. For instance, lots of independent movers and construction folks in the washington DC area. These folks invariably accept payment only in cash, and often work outside traditional documented avenues. For instance, at many home depots, there is often a group of individuals there willing to help load/unload/build stuff in return for cash. This does not appear to involve any actual companies as such, but it's employment of a sort. Self employment, really. Those sorts of cash-only work arrangements do allow fairly easy tax avoidance.

The US isn't particularly bad on underground economy stuff or tax avoidance, I think, but it is out there to some degree, and people who are not able to get traditional jobs due to lack of ID may well be more likely to be involved due to lack of other options.

More straightforwardly, illegal immigrants usually have a lower income than average, and thus, contribute less than average via taxes. This doesn't imply any untoward acts or avoidance, just...if you're making $20k/yr on farm work, your tax burden is gonna be low. Did a bit of light googling, and immigrants seem to have a lower income in general, though finding a place that neatly broke out legal and illegal immigrants vs natives was difficult. I imagine that generally, they have a lower income as the lack of documentation is an obstacle, they are unusually likely to be lacking education(which correlates highly with financial well being). I did find SOME data, but it was from 2007, and was household income only, which may not be apples to apples. Immigrants as a whole have significantly higher household sizes than native-born, and there may be further discrepancies. Still, even treating all households as equal, it looks as if immigrants as a whole around 15% lower than average, and illegal immigrants are around 30% lower on average*.

A caveat: I assembled the rough estimates above from a bunch of sources with varying methodologies, and of varying ages, so they're rough at best. Perhaps the additional census question will help with gathering data in at least some respects.

*This actually implies that legal immigrants are doing pretty decently, despite any handicaps faced. Overall immigration numbers appear to be, wherever bad, largely so as a result of illegal immigration.


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