GOP lawyer: Undocumented migrants aren’t people

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Ancalagon, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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  2. T.R

    T.R Don't Care

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    According to the U.S Constitution, they aren't suppose to be counted as citizens of this country. :shrug:
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  3. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    According to the US Constitution, the census counts inhabitants. Not legal residents, not citizens.
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  4. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    AFAIK the count has never been about citizens.

    In fact as part of discussions around this the US govts representatives have indeed stated that the concept of "illegal aliens" wasn't really one that existed at the time the US constitution was written.
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  5. T.R

    T.R Don't Care

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    I stand corrected...

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  6. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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  7. Asyncritus

    Asyncritus Expert on everything

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    As a point of order, I think there is a serious enough difference between "they are not part of the people" and "they are not people" that the thread title is misleading.
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  8. K.

    K. Sober

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    Yes, but that is just camouflage, since the Constitution says to count all people. So the argument here is that by declaring them not part of THE people, they are also no longer treated as what the Constitution considers people.
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  9. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    And we already know that this administration has a fondness for sticking people in cages. If they can strip even more humanity away from immigrants, it’s fairly obvious what the next steps will be.
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  10. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    Thinking that the census is supposed to only count legal citizens is not necessarily the same thing as thinking that non-citizens are subhuman. Both beliefs are mistaken, but the first is reasonable.

    I'm not arguing that this particular GOP lawyer or a large swath of the GOP doesn't hold both beliefs, mind.
  11. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    I don't find it reasonable at all to choose not to count non-citizens. This is how federal funding for certain areas is calculated. Let's just say funding is calculated at $1,000/person. You have 1000 citizens and 100 non-citizens. Would you rather have $1MM or $1.1MM?
  12. K.

    K. Sober

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    Thank you for pointing out a totally irrelevant vaguely related pure hypothetical that absolutely nobody disagrees with, though. It's a great help! :techman:
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  13. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Raoul is nothing if not careful. He might be killed at any moment.
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  14. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    Otherwise known as LawyerSpeak. :garamet:
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  15. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    I am saying it is reasonable to be under the mistaken belief that Founding Fathers intended the Census to count only citizens.
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  16. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    ... perhaps for a small minority of people. At the time the constitution was written, there weren't any adults who were "citizens". Everyone just lived here. Or they didn't. and that was it. if you didn't live here, you weren't counted. If you did live here, you were.

    Sorry ..., no. I still don't know how anyone would think that. Even a small child, prior to learning history, wouldn't know about "citizenship".

    No ..., not buying it.
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  17. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    There was definitely a notion of citizenship and non-citizenship in the U.S. at the time of the Constitution. The word "citizen" and variations of it appear multiple times in the document. And although it might vary some with contexts, mere visitors to the U.S. were not citizens. Enslaved people were not considered full-fledged citizens, although they were allowed to be partially counted for Census purposes. Itsy-bitsy babies born of white people in the geographic boundaries of the U.S. were considered citizens.

    Yes, all these people were to be counted to some degree in the original Census. I don't blame people for wrongly jumping to the conclusion that the Founding Fathers' intent was solely to count citizens (or for that matter, that we in 2020 should be bound by what the Founding Fathers' intent on this point was), though.
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  18. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    People keep talking about the Founding Fathers but isn’t it really the 14th Amendment that clearly states that all people except untaxed Native Americans (I’m guessing these would be tribes over which the US has no claims of sovereignty over) are to be counted?
  19. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    The reason I was talking about the Founding Fathers was linked to Jenee's talking about the time the Constitution was written.

    The 14th Amendment doesn't specify who is to be counted in the census. It says in the relevant parts that all people who are born in the U.S. or naturalized (and subject to the U.S.'s jurisdiction) are citizens, that citizens can't have their rights deprived except by due proess, can't be denied equal protection of the law, that representatives are proportional to population exculding untaxed Native Americans.

    The Census itself is derived from Article I:

    People could wrongly jump to the conclusion that "Number of free Persons" refers only to citizens, but that is unsupported by historical practice as I understand, and also undermined by the notion that the Founding Fathers used the term citizen elsewhere and so if they meant "citizens only" they would have said "citizens."

    Hypothetically, it seems to me that if there was a drive to pass a law that only citizens should be counted, that would withstand a court challenge. Now it would not be in the best interest of half of Congress to pass such a law. But still...
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  20. Chris

    Chris Anime Protagonist

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    Why don't you try reading it first?
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  21. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    Doesn’t this:

    Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

    refer to the census as that is the count from which Representatives are to be apportioned? Seems like it is clarifying what is to be counted in the census, all persons (excluding untaxed Native Americans).
  22. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    He can't even be bothered to read the other posts in this thread explaining it.
  23. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    Only going off the text without any research into what that part means:

    Not necessarily, because the figure used in this calculation is not necessarily supposed to be the same as the census overall. It could be that the census counts all people and then the tally used for the determination of calculating how many representatives each gets is a subset of that. I would imagine that the censuses back in the day had a figure for untaxed Native Americans, as opposed to just not counting them at all.

    Also, it doesn't do anything more to resolve the misguided notion that the census was only to count citizens. I could see someone thinking the change in language actually causing the flipside: in better defining citizenship and granting it to everyone actually born in the U.S., it makes the number of people who are non-citizens much much smaller both as an absolute number and as a proportion to the citizens as of the 1780s.
  24. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    I'd say the crucial part is where it says excluding Indians not taxed.

    Given that undocumented people often still pay tax, seems in line with intent to count them.
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  25. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    I'm purely guessing, but I'd think it likely that the reasons the "Indians not taxed" clause was in there is because the overlap between Native Americans who lived in areas not subject to federal or state taxes and Native Americans who were non-U.S. citizens was pretty close to 80-90 percent.
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  26. Chris

    Chris Anime Protagonist

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    The census is to count all people. The history and precedent over the past two centuries is crystal clear.

    We're arguing over whether water is really wet. This is asinine and it's proponents are working in bad faith to try and cling to power in a country that is starting to reject them in overwhelming numbers.
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  27. TheLonelySquire

    TheLonelySquire Fresh Meat

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    Correct. If they're not supposed to be here they should not be counted.
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  28. TheLonelySquire

    TheLonelySquire Fresh Meat

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    #illegalaliens
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  29. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    Sounds like you're attempting to rewrite the US constitution there, didn't take you for one of those fluid interpretation types.
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  30. Raoul the Red Shirt

    Raoul the Red Shirt Professional bullseye

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    This may be before your time. But did you ever watch Laverne & Shirley, and one of the leads would say something like, "But no one would be stupid enough to do that!" and then Lenny & Squiggy would walk in and be like, "Hello, Laverne!"? Or any other sitcoms like Seinfeld that do something similar?

    Your post just before TLS showed up reminded me of that for some reason....
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