This census/congressional reapportionment issue breaks a lot of ways for Kansas, and the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week that tossed, at least for now, a question about legal residency in the U.S. splashes into Kansas in several ways.

The high court decision was basically that there is no persuasive constitutional reason for the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census to require folks in the U.S. to reveal whether they are lawfully in the United States. Practically, most are, but millions aren’t.

The likely result? If the decision holds, millions of immigrants who aren’t formally U.S. citizens will fill out the census form, and we’ll know how many people we have in the nation and in each state and where they are and just what federal and state government needs to do to keep them safe, healthy, educated…basically living a decent life in the United States. If residents who aren’t formally citizens don’t fill out the form, fearing deportation, well, that has other effects that might or might not favor Kansas.

The census total will determine just how the nation’s 435 seats in Congress are apportioned, which states gain seats, which states lose seats. It could mean, once the long division is completed, that Kansas could lose one of its four U.S. representatives. It could mean that some states (think California and probably Texas) will see more House seats, reducing Kansas’ bargaining position on issues in Congress that are important to Kansans. Like, agriculture funding, and probably even whether Amtrak riders in Kansas wind up on buses, not railroad cars.

Gov, Laura Kelly, like many Democrats, wants every person who is actually in the U.S. to be counted on that upcoming census, because the numbers will likely mean more federal assistance for the state. Who doesn’t want more of our federal income tax to be returned to Kansas under a wide range of programs? Some politicians believe Kansas could lose a House seat if not all residents are counted.

Republicans tend to lean toward making the census a count of legal citizens. That, they say, means that the federal government at least takes care of citizens, who are likely voters, and those non-citizens who don’t participate in the census don’t wind up with political power, and if they can register to vote under state laws, vote for candidates who will take care of them — like most of us do. Some politicians believe that Kansas could lose a House seat if non-citizens in California and certain other states are counted.

So, is it making sure that the federal government knows how to spread its (that’s our tax-dollar-funded) resources to states and their residents, or is it letting the federal government know where the citizens — not just residents — are, and using that information for assembling and funding federal programs?

Seeing the political problem here? Do you want something on the upcoming census that may hold down the participation of longtime residents who aren’t citizens, or do you want to scare some residents who aren’t citizens off participation, which may insulate conservative, likely Republican, members of Congress?

Of course, the issue probably comes down to just where that census information, and the names and addresses of residents who aren’t citizens, wind up. It’s not supposed to be widely dispersed within the federal government — say, to immigration law enforcers — but with the current president and his insistence on America for Americans, or whatever the current catchphrase is, who knows?

Would you risk filling out the form if it puts you and your family in jeopardy of deportation? Or would you trust the federal government to use the census information just for population-sensitive issues, like apportionment of Congress (and downstream, reapportionment of state legislatures)?

What’s the outcome? We can see Republicans wanting the citizenship issue, Democrats not wanting it. And both can make arguments. Probably depends on what arguments you care to hear…

Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at

(18) comments


Anyone reading this needs to know that if one thought the question was appropriate, their post was removed. All of mine are gone.


My comments are frequently deleted. When that happens, I am "prone" to delete those opposite of my opinion. I have in all REPUBLICAN States in my life, that REPUBLICANS are Extremely Thin-Skined. The can dish it out, but, THEY CAN'T TAKE IT! Donald Trump is a Madman, He CONTINUES to Live in a Small Bully Boy's mind....greatly enabled by a hugely rich Daddy. He conducts his life like KINGS of Bible Times. He lies tremendously EVERY DAY! Note: REPUBLICANS may say all kinds ot things, but, NEVER says he doesn't lie!


Cry Baby! Conservatives/Republicans always bring out the "Anti-Conservative" Card! Conservatives sympathize with Nazi thinking....and, bellyache because the Media ALWAYS criticizes them for siding with Holocaust. The Media is hammered because they don't give Hitler's point of view! Not being fair to Hitler!


I was born on June 4th, 1940, in Seward, Nebraska. My Birth Certificate in ON FILE in Lincoln,Nebraska. I have decided I will NOT, if the Citizenship Questioin is on the Census form, I WILL LEAVE IT BLANK. Trump can to to the place that isn't heaven. He broke the Law with his phony Medical Deferment to Serve his country WHEN HE HAD THE CHANCE! I am 79 years old. I don't care if I am counted or not...Won't make a darn bit of difference in Kansas! Those not liking it, PUT IT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT! I Served my Country in the Navy, My Dad was drafted...with 3 KIDS (me included) in 1943 @ 33 years. My youngest brother served in the Navy, too, including a brief tour in Viet Nam. My oldest Brother served 20 years in the National Guard--enlisting @ 17, in 1948---there was no war at that time. My other brother, served in the Naval Reserve 1955-61 (No war at that time.) Trump and his blindless supporters are such great patriots, BUT he and MOST of them NEVER served a Minute for their country.


Because the honorable Mr. La Police deceased won the General Election in 2018, that means we lost the 1st Congressional District in the State of Kansas?


Sorry, I am not understanding your post. Who is "Mr. La Police?" Also, not understanding "that means we lost the 1st Congressional District in the State of Kansas?"


Gary, The honorable NeilFrankOverley is referring to Alan Lapolice. He is the guy that lost (badly) to Roger Marshall in the general election for U.S. House Kansas District 1 in 2018. Lapolice isn't deceased though, and he didn't win. Maybe someone had a few too many freedom beers? And since Lapolice lost, I guess you "lost" that district, even though Marshall was an incumbent, lol. Happy 4th Gary.


Who is Gary? My name is Prentice.


Gary, Gary Lukert. Nice try on changing your name but your post are the same crazy post.


My thought on this continues to be that if your state welcomes people who break the laws of our country, maybe the state should not be rewarded for that behavior. Trust the government? I think it would take a non-citizen to probably do that or a very uninformed citizen.


The illegals are breaking the law. Should be sent back or forced to pay $20000 fine. No difference in robbing banks. Are you going to let banks robbers get away with it

Alphonse Sicard

That's a steep price for a misdemeanor.


Not really when you consider the cost of not securing the border. Once in the country, they break one law after another. "Do you have a right to work in the USA?" the answer for someone here illegally is "no", add to that the necessary identity theft that takes place with their false documents................ The cost to police the border should be paid by those crossing it illegally since they are creating the problem, or we could just secure the border and save millions on the assistance given to them once in the country.


Donald Trump broke the law...when he accepted a FALSE Medical Deferment from the Draft in the 1960's. He was Chicken. He didn't love America. Right Wingers, Mostly Republicans and Southern Democrats (they were different only in name) said to Anti-Viet Nam War Protesters: AMERICA, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT. Trump DID NOT "Love" America...until his Daddy found a Doctor to do the Lifetime Deferment. TRUMP IS A CRIMINAL. A huge liar as well.


It is a heckava lot different than robbing a bank. Question: Is Cheating on your Income Tax "no different than robbing a bank?" Melania didn't "jump thru all the hoops" to gain American Citizenship! Donald Trump is the most crooked person the world has ever known and the Religious Right LOVES HIM!


I am sure Banks would rather someone "break the law" by being here illegally than robbing their banks. Does being illegal...equate in crime with Murder, or...bombing your house? Are they the same? Unless you have Indian heritage, we all have "imagrant" heritage. We "white people" believe we were ALWAYS here. Well, we wern't. We are extremely lucky the English were the first, and those English "settlers" were the Majority Founders of the United States. Look what happened to setting up the people from other countries. Melania didn't have to get at the back of the line...Melania was FAST-TRACKED...By Law-Breaker Trump. He took a Lying Medical Deferment.


Kansans already welcome a Major Lawbreaker: A guy (I guess he is?) who broke the Law with an illegal Medical Draft Derferment in the 1960s--DONALD TRUMP. Trump is also guilty of Treason!

Comment deleted.

You are selective in punishing law breaking. Trump is a criminal...he should be locked up! A Traitor...asking the Russians to look thru Hillary's emails and publish emails that would hurt Hillary...this during an election! Trump trumpeted at his campaign rallies: "Crooked Hillary, Lock her up!" Well, I say "Crooked, LYING Donald, LOCK HIM UP!"

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