Graves: Supreme Court census decision could impact Louisiana

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Garret Graves

The US Supreme Court has rejected a Trump Administration bid to include a question about citizenship status on the 2020 census.

Congressman Garret Graves says the decision could result in further reductions in Louisiana Congressional representation as states with growing undocumented immigrant populations continue to gain seats.

“California right now has 53 members of Congress compared to our six, but much of that allocation could be based upon folks that are not American.”

The citizenship question has not been featured on the standard short form census since 1950, per NPR.

Graves says he’s concerned that continuing to count illegal immigrants in the census will reduce the amount of federal assistance for American citizens.

“Many federal programs are allocated based upon the census, based upon the number of citizens, the percentage of citizens in your district and state compared to the rest of the nation.”

Opponents of the question say it would dissuade immigrant households from filling out the form, resulting in the under representation of Hispanics, and lower federal aid for states with those populations, but Graves says the citizenship question should be the first one asked…

“It is our responsibility to take care of our citizens. It is a very slippery slope, or a dangerous argument to suggest that we have to take care of citizens from all around the world.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, saying the administration’s reasoning for adding the question “appeared to be contrived”. The decision was 5-4.

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