'A bit of fraud encouraged by Berkeley': University tells illegal immigrants to fill out census forms

The presentation organizer confirmed that she told the illegal immigrant students that the decision to participate was up to each individual.

UC-Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program recently held a presentation advising illegal immigrant students to participate in the US Census.

The University of California-Berkeley Undocumented Students Program held an online presentation on the U.S. Census, during which illegal immigrant students were encouraged to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census. 

According to a report by the Daily Californian, the presentation was led by Griselda Martinez, a sophomore at UC-Berkeley and a census community organizer. It was held for University of California-Berkeley students and specifically focused on illegal immigrant students. Students attending the online event were eligible to participate in a raffle for two $50 gift cards, according to the Facebook event. 

The presentation went over aspects of the history and the effects of the census. Martinez also explained the various ways one could fill out the census, whether online, through the mail, or over the phone. 

She commented on the federal government’s Directive 15, which explains the ethnicity and race data collected by the census. Martinez took offense at the directive, saying that it “restricts” racial/ethnic categorizations by not providing enough categories for census participants, in regards to race/ethnicity. 

During the presentation, Martinez reportedly asserted that many illegal immigrant students do not realize that the U.S. Census is occurring and are therefore unable to participate. However, she explained during the presentation that illegal immigrant students should, in fact, make a point to fill out the census because students use “so many resources.” 

[RELATED:  New report reveals astonishing number of illegal immigrants enrolled in American universities]

In an interview with Campus Reform, Martinez confirmed that she encourages “undocumented people” to fill out the census. 

She said, “It is ultimately up to them [the undocumented students] whether they fill it out once they actually know about it.”

“I think that a large part of the issue is that many undocumented communities don’t even know about the census. So, it is not necessarily that they don’t want to fill it out,” she continued.

Martinez also confirmed that, during the presentation, she stated that illegal immigrant students “can and should fill it out.” 

Campus Reform reached out to the Claremont Institute, a California-based conservative think tank, for comment on the matter. 

Senior Fellow John Eastman told Campus Reform that there were two issues with UC Berkeley’s presentation.

[RELATED:  College bailout money could go to illegal immigrants]

“The first issue is with current law...current law does not allow temporary visitors or nonresidents to participate in the census. Students are thus the quintessential example of that… This [presentation] is therefore a bit of fraud encouraged by Berkeley,” Eastman said.

“The second issue is based on the doctrine of the consent of the governed; what did the Constitution actually mean?” Eastman added. “In the Consent of the Governed clause, it says to count every person, excluding the Indians not taxed.  The theory behind this clause is to not count people who aren’t lawfully and permanently present.”

Eastman gave an example of the 1984 Olympic Games. 

“Suppose the games were in Los Angeles, in 1980, when the census was held. Five million people come to Los Angeles for the games. Does L.A. suddenly have five million more people who are a part of the body politic? The answer is no.”

Campus Reform reached out to the Undocumented Students Program but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @carolinefshaver