Letters to the editor: Census purpose misunderstood
The 10-year Enumeration (Census) as required by Article 1 of the Constitution and changed by the 14th Amendment, is frequently misrepresented.
For instance, Sharna Johnson’s article “Yes, You Count” (March 13 CNJ) is a good read and well intended; however, it directs the focus of the 2010 Census on securing federal funds while ignoring the primary constitutional intent — representation.
The Census should systematically count all legal American citizens so we will have equal representation in the House of Representatives according to legal state population by district.
Therefore, it is wrong to encourage illegal immigrants and transients to be counted as this article suggests. Although competition for federal funds and allocation of state resources are a function of the Census, that factor is secondary to the importance of representation in Congress.
Note also, enumeration, census, and demographic surveys are not synonymous.
Therefore, the 10 question survey is fair.
The thrust of this Census year should be: If you are an American citizen be counted; if you are not, don’t.
There is nothing mysterious or magical about the Census. However, knowingly inflating the Census by counting illegals or citizens twice for the purpose of garnering imaginary government funds is, in my opinion, a constitutional violation and seriously skews the intent of our basic document.
Be honest, be fair, and be counted. That’s American.