Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) lashed out Thursday against the leadership of his own state.
“This is an amazing day to be in California, a ‘sanctuary’ state suing the federal government for everything, including actually meeting the constitutional requirement of counting people,” he said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
Issa, a congressman from Southern California who is retiring at the end of the year, was referring to a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra challenging plans by President Donald Trump’s administration to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.
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The Census Bureau asked the question of all households every 10 years from 1820 through 1950, and then included it on the “long form” of more detailed questions that a random sampling of households received during the decennial population count.
In 2010, the Census Bureau eliminated the long form and instead gathers detailed demographic data — including citizenship information — on large surveys it conducts every month.
But Becerra argues that asking about citizenship on the main form is unconstitutional and will deter immigrants from participating in the mandatory head count.
Nonsense, Issa said.
“There is nothing controversial about asking, ‘Are you are a citizen?'” he said.
Issa (pictured above) said it is amazing that critics want to equate it with an attack on illegal immigration. He noted that the question asks only if someone is a citizen or not and makes no attempt to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants.
Becerra has raised the specter of World War II-era internment camps for residents of Japanese lineage. He said the federal government used census data to implement that policy.
“You can always do sensationalism,” Issa responded. “He certainly is doing it. It’s very clear that they like the idea that President [Barack] Obama had, which is, estimate everyone. Forget about counting them.”
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Issa said immigration policies pursued by Becerra and other Democrats have made the state he adopted as a young man unrecognizable.
“He has a simple plan, which is open your borders but have somebody else pay for it … The state that I fell in love with when I was a young soldier here in, stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey, is gone,” he said. “We are now a state that simply looks to the federal government for money but no control over any of the things that come with it. In other words, no strings attached; just send the money.”
Guest host Raymond Arroyo asked Issa about resolutions passed by a number of city councils seeking to opt out of California’s sweeping sanctuary laws, which severely limit cooperation by state and local authorities with federal immigration officials.
“Is this the start of a movement?” Arroyo asked.
“It’s a movement among sheriffs. It’s a movement among police chiefs,” he said. “It’s a movement among all the law enforcement people who know that what we’re really doing in these sanctuary cities is refusing to hold criminal aliens accountable. And that’s what it’s all about.”
Forbidding inter-agency cooperation on immigration matters is a “bridge too far for every sheriff I know,” Issa said.
“Deputies come up to me all the time and say, ‘You know, this is awful. Can’t you stop it?” he added