Should there be a citizenship question on the 2020 Census? Article one. Section two of the Constitution provides for a State-by-State decennial (every 10 years) enumeration of: a. “the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed,” plus b. “three fifths of all other Persons.” (The infamous “three fifths,” of course, referred to slaves, and was eliminated by the 14th Amendment, aimed exclusively at and focused on recognizing that the now-former slaves and their families were to be considered both full citizens and counted as whole persons, just like all other “free Person” citizens.)

Most current references claim that there was a citizenship question on the Census questionnaire only from 1890 until the 1950 Census. That’s simply not true; it’s been there all along. For example, the 1820 Census asked about “foreign-born people ‘not naturalized.’” The 1870 Census asked about “male citizens of the United States of 21 years or upwards.” And in 2000, it read “is this person a citizen of the United States?”

Citizenship matters because citizens are entitled to Congressional representation; non-citizens aren’t. Moreover, Article one, Section two calls for enumeration of “the whole Number of free persons, including those in bondage contracts, and now, all descendants of former slaves. But, who today are “free Persons?” A valid argument could be made that illegal immigrants are not “free,” but fugitives – and therefore neither citizens nor entitled to Congressional representation.

So, why the fuss over citizenship? Well, a certain major political party has staked its future on legitimizing, then extending the vote to, what are popularly labelled “illegal immigrants.” That way they can grab and hold power forever – or so they believe. Their rationale seems to be to ignore clear current law, and simply legitimize the illegitimacy of the illegal by overwhelming our borders, then persuading us and our Congressional representatives to buy into this version of Hobson’s Choice: “Well, they’re already here; what else can we do?” That they’re staking their future existence on this kind of sleight of hand tells us a lot about not only their intentions but also their integrity. And they most definitely don’t want us, We, the People, to recognize that and grasp its significance by allowing a citizenship question on the census

Once upon a time, we welcomed new immigrants (we still do). And American citizenship was to be prized, cherished and celebrated. But something changed. Now it seems that the preferred method of entry is, quite literally, an in-your-face illegal invasion, to become an undefeatable voting bloc. We’re projected to see this year, more “invasion” immigrants than legal ones. In truth, it’s becoming the fastest-growing segment of our population, and increasingly consists not of new actual citizens but of millions of illegal aliens (the official legal term) – humans all, but here illegally — who came here enticed by certain political and misguided charitable groups who have made a total mockery and complete farce of the process. And Congress, which is charged under the Constitution (Article one, Section eight) to “establish an (sic) uniform Rule of Naturalization,” has twisted and distorted what was once a straightforward, enforceable naturalization procedure into Swiss cheese.

Congress created/allowed this mess, and Congress can fix it. In fact, only Congress can fix it – but nothing will happen until enough Members hear enough constituents, then develop the spine to spurn their Big Business special interest cheap labor funders, their deep pocket globalist friends, and those willing to spend billions of dollars (some theirs, mostly ours) to fundamentally transform the United States from a place of freedoms to one of permissions. We hear a ton about “social justice’ and all its cohort concepts, but that concept continues to fail to deliver on its hollow promises. And those here illegally do, and will continue to, fall victim to it. Face it: what awaits them but living in the shadows, hiding from the authorities, the constant fear of being rounded up and deported. They’ve traded fear of one kind of tyranny for dependency in the shadows under a different type of tyranny. How does being a fugitive bring freedom? To them — or their children, for whom they risk everything?

Only Congress can fix this mess – but only We, the People, can force Congress to do it. Politicians are what politicians have always been – creatures of extreme malleability, highly susceptible to the blandishments of those who pay them well to vote their way rather than ours, and whose personal ambition in many cases outweighs any sense of real patriotism. No, not all politicians fit this description, but too many do. It’s up to us to know – not guess or assume – truly where our individual Congresspersons and Senators stand on this issue which is so critical to the future of our country, and if need be, to guide their footstep.

The Constitution’s Framers embodied in it the concept of self-governance, the right to determine and build the kind of future we want for ourselves and our children. They recognized that our political representatives serve us, not we them, and not only shouldn’t but aren’t authorized to impose their version of the future on us. By the same token, neither should we allow them to do the same to those who desire to follow in our self-governance tradition – and be true American citizens, out of the shadows and into the sunlight.

I welcome comments and suggestions; if you have a specific question or area of the Constitution you’d like addressed, please send your idea to me.

Bud Nason lives in Littlestown, is a Conservative Thinker and an Adams County Voter. E-mail him at

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