Articles

Census Question on Citizenship

Written by Ann Shibler on October 21 2009.

It is for this reason that an amendment has been introduced in the senate, with a similar piece being co-sponsored in the House, that will address the question of who should and who should not be counted in the official census.

Senators David Vitter (R-Louisianna) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah) are offering an amendment to the spending bill in the Senate for the Department of Commerce — the department that oversees the Census Bureau that in turn conducts the census — that would ban funds for the census if it doesn’t ask straight up the status of each person’s citizenship.

Vitter had this comment on his principled proposal:

In the past, some states have included illegal immigrants during the census, resulting in the allocation of additional congressional seats... [this amendment] obviously won’t help us identify all illegal aliens, but it’s a step in the right direction. Illegal aliens should not be included for the purposes of determining representation in Congress, and that’s the bottom line here.

This has sent past census directors, lawmakers, and union leaders screaming. The basis for their objection is that it will simply cost too much to begin reprinting a portion of the 425 million census questionnaires that are said to contain only ten little questions, and that there is little time for “course corrections.”

The concern for cost is very touching, but falls a bit flat considering the billions spent or allocated for outrageous and unconstitutional projects in the last nine months that will bankrupt this country. Anyway the majority of costs for a census will come from the hiring of 1.2 million field workers, not printing.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) exploded over Vitter’s comments in a released statement with, “His delusional rant...is a perfect example of why today’s Republican Party has transformed itself into a fringe party that only seeks to pander to its increasingly radical base.”

SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina was less coy about his objections saying:

SEIU has long been deeply committed to expanding the civic engagement and political participation of Latino and other immigrant communities.... We cannot repeat the mistakes of the 2000 Census, which cost the Latin community billions in federal dollars because of an estimated 3 percent undercount of the population.

Very telling.

As was SEIU’s accusation that those supporting the amendment were “willing to compromise the accuracy of the census in their obsessive desire to inject their anti-immigrant agenda into every conceivable realm of public life.”

Some might question a union’s narrowly focused interest, but this was cleared up by Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies who noted that SEIU heavily pushes for amnesty and related immigration issues “because their membership is so heavily illegal immigrant.”

Of course the real obsessiveness here can certainly be placed squarely on the shoulders of those who have a political agenda to achieve and do so through political manipulation. The defense of the original intent of our Founding Fathers concerning the census can hardly be labeled as obsessive or radical.

Maintaining a fair and accurate representative government could only be achieved through a fair and accurate count of the people, the citizens of the country, those who are bona fide members of a state, and subject to all the requisites of its laws.

Anything else is an attempt at gerrymandering — the unconstitutional increase in representation for some states and deprivation of representation for other states — and an unconstitutional redefining of the idea of the dicennial census.

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