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GOP Senate candidates support Trump on adding citizenship question to 2020 Census

Brandon Moseley

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President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he may issue an executive order telling the Census Bureau to add a question about whether or not a respondent is a U.S. citizen or not. Most of the Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Doug Jones have issued statements supporting the president’s position.

On Saturday, former Chief Justice Roy Moore said on social media that the president was correct in his assertion that an executive order would suffice in requiring that the question be added to the upcoming decennial census.

“The president is correct in issuing an executive order as this falls under the executive branch,” Moore said.

Moore is a candidate for the GOP nomination for the Senate seat.

Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, also issued a statement supporting the president’s position on the citizenship question.

“The President is absolutely right that getting an accurate count of the citizens of the United States in the 2020 Census is critical,” Byrne said in a statement. “I support President Trump using the full scope of his executive authority to ensure the citizen question is included.”

State Auditor Jim Zeigler has an exploratory committee exploring a possible Senate run.

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“We need to fight on every front to include the question about citizenship in the census,” Zeigler said. “Including the citizenship question is vital. Only U.S. citizens should vote. Only U.S. citizens should qualify for government benefits.”

“President Trump should go forward with the citizenship question on the census,” Zeigler said. “The Congress should go forward with the citizenship question. Court action should go forward to enable the citizenship question.”

Former Auburn football Coach Tommy Tuberville also released a statement supporting the president taking action.

“We are a nation of immigrants, but there is a right way and a wrong way to enter the United States,” Tuberville said. “We must secure the border at all costs. In fact, without borders, you don’t even have a country. I support President Trump using every tool he needs to protect America, including a citizenship question on the U.S. Census.”

On Friday, Secretary of State John Merrill, who is also a Senate candidate, sent a letter to the White House pledging his supports to the President in this matter.

“We don’t need to be giving benefits to people who are non-citizens over people who are citizens, period,” Merrill said in a statement. “There are two districts in Los Angeles County, California, that currently have less than 40 percent United States citizenship in population. That means there are two congressional districts in California that shouldn’t even exist.”

Merrill supports counting only U.S. citizens for purposes of reapportionment and redistricting of Congress.

“When you start counting citizens, then you will have citizens represented in Congress,” Merrill added. “When you start counting everybody, even those people that may not be citizens, you’re giving advantage to people that allow illegals to come into their community. That is not a positive thing for anybody.”

Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, and Attorney General Steve Marshall have filed suit in federal court seeking to block state legislators from including undocumented immigrants and other non-citizens from being included in the reapportionment and redistricting that follows the coming Census.

“If the citizenship question is not included, it will contribute to illegals voting,” Zeigler said. “That could cost legal Americans the presidency. It could cost the retaking of the U.S. House. It could cost Alabama a Congressional seat. If I run for U.S. Senate, I will make it a major issues to block illegals from voting and receiving government benefits. The beginning point is knowing who is not a citizen.”

Trump’s effort to include a citizenship question in the Census suffered a setback two weeks ago when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the administration has not provided sufficient grounds for including such a question in the 2020 Census. On Friday, lawyers with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Commerce Department have been asked to re-evaluate all available options following the Supreme Court’s decision and whether the Supreme Court’s decision would allow for a new decision to include the citizenship question on the 2020 Decennial Census.

State Rep. Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs, and businessman and former televangelist Stanley Adair are also running for U.S. Senate.

Incumbent Jones is the only Democrat to win a statewide race in Alabama since 2008, when he narrowly defeated Moore in a 2017 special election.

The Republican primary will be March 3.

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