My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘illegals’

Louisiana GOP Hopes To Take Drastic Measures To Prevent The Loss Of A Congressional Seat

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Here’s the scoop from the New Orleans Times-Picayune (click HERE for complete article):

BATON ROUGE — The chairman of the state Republican Party said Saturday the state party is looking at ways to prevent “illegal aliens” from being counted in the 2010 federal census. The goal is to preserve a congressional seat for Louisiana, he said.

Roger Villere of Metairie told the Republican State Central Committee, the party’s governing board, that if illegal immigrants are counted in the census, Louisiana likely will see its congressional delegation drop from seven to six House members. House seats are apportioned based on each state’s population in the census.

Villere said states such as Texas and California would pick up representation in Congress because of the large number of immigrants living in them. Federal policy is to count all residents, regardless of their legal status, at the time the census is taken.

“If they do not count the illegal aliens, we would not lose a seat” despite population declines caused by recent hurricanes, Villere said.

“We feel like we need to protect our sovereignty,” he said. “If we take the illegals out of the mix, we could retain one of our congressmen. … We are investigating our options. This is something we are seriously looking at.”

Villere said a decision will be made by year’s end on whether to file a lawsuit or lobby the administration and Congress for a policy change to exclude illegal immigrants. He said he has been in discussions with “people of national stature” on the matter but refused to name them.

“It is not a Republican problem,” he said after the committee’s quarterly meeting. “It is a Louisiana problem.”

Earlier, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, estimated that 8 million illegal immigrants living in the country are now getting health care paid for by taxpayers.

During the meeting, committee members rejected a plan to hold a nominating convention in Lafayette, Baton Rouge or New Orleans next year to rally the party around one candidate each for a U.S. Senate race and the seven congressional seats.

A convention would energize and unify the party while drawing media attention, according to main proponent Mike Chittom of Baton Rouge.

Halting immigration raids until after April 1, 2010 (Census Day)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The great immigration debate continues…Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) has proposed halting immigration raids until after the 2010 Census. Since California has a large number of illegal aliens, this means that the state will record higher population totals if these immigrants are counted. If raids are not halted, immigrants may hide from census employees (who have no legal authority to report immigration issues). From Fox News:

U.S. Rep. William Clay, D-Mo., who chairs a House oversight subcommittee on the Census, said he plans to ask the Obama administration to suspend immigration raids over the next year.

He wants the raids put on hold so illegal immigrants don’t worry that sharing accurate information with Census workers could somehow expose them to punishment, even deportation.

“There are many people — Hispanics, African-Americans, whites, Asians — who have an irrational fear of government, who distrust government, who don’t believe that if they give the federal government personal information, that that information is not going to be confidential,” said Arturo Vargas, of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

The kind of move Clay is proposing has been done before — in 2000, and even earlier.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, was working for the border patrol ahead of the 1990 Census when the orders came down to suspend some enforcement efforts.

“It distorts the count because people might be apprehensive about answering the door, or reporting accurately how many people are living in a house or residence or an apartment, or those kinds of things — at least that was the rationale,” Reyes explained.

But the call to pull back the reins on immigration enforcement is opposed by many of Clay’s colleagues, including the ranking Republican on the House oversight committee.

“We’re not talking about one day of not doing raids. We’re talking about a period of time. Is that a week, a month or a whole year? We cannot suspend law enforcement,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

The Obama administration has sought a freeze on arrests of illegal immigrants, upending an enforcement policy that was in widespread use during the last years of the Bush administration.

There has only been one mass arrest of immigrants since Obama took office, which came as a shock to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who ordered a review of the incident. All but one of the illegal immigrants arrested in the February raid were released and given legal work permits.