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Letter

Republican state Sen. Fred Thomas wants us all to think he has read and has understood America’s Constitution. But I’m convinced he doesn’t always comprehend what he reads.

In his latest “guest” opinion column (Aug. 7), he insisted that our country's 2020 Census needs a "citizenship question." He even asserted that this citizenship question will "ensure" the "proper representation" that all Americans are "entitled to under the Constitution."

But I think Thomas is mistaken. And I believe every other public official in Montana deserves to understand why his claim is misguided.

Consider this: Once every 10 years, when our country’s census is undertaken, our Constitution requires an “actual enumeration” of all the people who are living here. Everyone means everyone — including all residents who are non-citizens — and regardless of where they come from, or what their current immigration status might be, or whether they can vote. Instead, it is the job of various other agencies — not the job of the census — to take into account other factors like the ones I just listed.

Since the Constitution clearly directs our census to count all the people who are living here, why shouldn’t we just follow the Constitution?

Frank Edward Allen,

Missoula

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