A staff writer for The Atlantic blasted President Trump’s effort to “weaponize” the upcoming Census by supporting the insertion of a question regarding citizenship, calling it an attempt to punish liberal cities and states.

“If the Constitution gives power to the people, then the Census is the main mechanism to measure that power. That also makes it an incredibly useful weapon, one with the power to warp democracy in the right—or wrong—hands,” warned Vann Newkirk, a staff writer for The Atlantic.

At issue is a decision by the Commerce Department to include a question regarding citizenship status on the upcoming census in 2020.

A coalition of twelve Democratic-leaning states, led by California, are suing the Trump administration over the move, arguing the question could lead to an inaccurate population count as many illegal immigrants could opt against filling out the census.

“Punishing liberal-leaning cities would offer Trump a victory in his ongoing culture war, even if it comes at the expense of good and useful data,” Newkirk wrote. “In a political system where population size dictates everything from the distribution of presidential electors to the boundaries of local voting precincts, undercounts could also undermine the political power of immigrant-rich state like California, and of the urban pockets within the Southwestern desert that threaten to make swing states out of Texas and Arizona.”

As courts have ruled in the past that the redistricting and congressional apportionment processes must take into account the total population rather than the citizen population, many amnesty advocates are concerned the census citizenship question may be a precursor to Congress changing the process to count only citizens.

“By requiring the census to track citizenship status, the administration might be laying the groundwork to push for redistricting based on citizenship figures,” warned the Brennan Center for Justice – a far-left public policy organization headed by a former special assistant and speechwriter to President Bill Clinton.

Discussion of a citizenship question on the census is, according to Newkirk, a result of “White-nationalist groups decrying ‘white genocide’ and fearing demographic shifts, anti-immigrant populism, the long reach of old Jim Crow, and plain-old backroom political strategizing.”

Tom Perez, the head of the Democratic National Committee, called the move an attempt at voter suppression and a “first cousin” to voter ID laws.

“They want to change it to count the number of U.S. citizens so that they can engage in very not subtle voter suppression,” Perez said during an interview on MSNBC Tuesday. “That is illegal and that is totally inconsistent with what the North Star of the census in Republican and Democratic administrations have been.”

“This is just another divide-and-conquer effort. This is a first cousin of these voter ID laws sought to make sure that African Americans and Latinos can’t vote,” he added. “This is not who we are as a nation. This is not why people died for the passage of the Voting Rights Act.”

Despite their feigned concern for ensuring an accurate population count, Democrats and their amnesty-supporting allies have ulterior motives – namely, packing as many illegal immigrants into sanctuary jurisdictions as they can to direct even more federal funds there.

In addition, illegal immigrant population growth in those jurisdictions will ultimately lead to a redistricting and congressional apportionment process that dilutes the vote of suburban and rural voters as they are packed in districts dominated by large (and liberal) cities- a charge Democrats have regularly leveled in reverse at Republicans since the last census.

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