Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) want to amend the pending Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill (which funds NASA and the census, among other things) to force census takers to ask immigration status.
The amendment ties funding for the census bureau to asking of the question on “all future” decennial censuses.
Vitter said because some states have included illegal immigrants in their counts, that’s led to more Congressional seats.“We shouldn’t let these states be rewarded for skirting our federal laws and this amendment would help stop this practice,” he said when introducing it. “It 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.”
Senate leadership didn’t have a comment, but it’s unlikely this change will see the light of day.
A tipster pointed out to us that were such a provision to pass, it could scare the undocumented away from filling out the forms for fear they would be used by immigration officials. The tipster also argued it would cost taxpayers money since all the forms would need to be reprinted.
Here’s some more analysis and here’s Bennett’s floor speech on the issue:
We’ll be keeping an eye on this, so stay tuned and let us know your thoughts as well.