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Michael Medved

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The title of U.S. citizen: A distinction that matters

Attorneys leave the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Md., after a hearing on the federal government's motion to dismiss the NAACP lawsuit over concerns about the 2020 census. From left are NAACP general counsel Bradford Berry, Joseph Schottenfeld, third-year student at Yale Law School, and Jeffrey Zalesin, third-year student at Yale Law School. (AP Photo/Michael Kunzelman)

A federal judge in New York threw bureaucratic plans into turmoil when he blocked the Trump administration’s decision to add a simple and appropriate question to the census for 2020.

The Commerce Department wanted to ask “Are you a citizen of the United States?” but the judge claimed that their decision process violated federal guidelines. Meanwhile, his judgment, sure to be appealed, follows current liberal thinking that seeks to disregard the distinction between citizen and non-citizen. But that distinction is important, and valuable, especially for new immigrants!

After all, among America’s foreign-born residents, naturalized citizens and permanent legal residents outnumber the undocumented by three to one. My four immigrant grandparents all considered the day they became naturalized citizens one of the most significant events of their lives. Erasing the distinction between citizens and non-citizens doesn’t honor immigrants. But it does dishonor citizenship and the necessary process of Americanization.

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