First, some immigrant activists proposed a boycott of the 2010 Census to show displeasure with immigration policies centered on enforcement and to demand comprehensive reform. Now, a U.S. senator is calling for the Census Bureau to not count undocumented immigrants.
The move by Sen. David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, comes as the Bureau has been reaching out to ethnic media and immigrant communities for months to ensure that the nation’s population is counted as accurately as possible, in fulfillment of its mandate.
Vitter’s office announced in a press release that he introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill “that would require questions in the census regarding citizenship and immigration status.”
The amendment “would also prevent states from counting illegal aliens for the purposes of determining population levels and other data associated with the census.”
“Illegal immigration is a very real and significant concern for our country,” Vitter said in the press release, adding:
“In the past, some states have included illegal immigrants during the census, resulting in the allocation of additional congressional seats. We shouldn’t let these states be rewarded for skirting our federal laws and this amendment would help stop this practice.”
Vitter’s initiative conflicts with the policies of many municipalities, counties and states, which depend on the Census to accurately report their population so that they receive their share of $400 billion in federal aid, according to USA Today.
However, according to Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión, Census Bureau director Robert Groves rejected the possibility of implementing Vitter’s amendement, since census forms, which have already been printed, don’t include questions about citizenship or migratory status.