A recent opinion article by Richard Greener and George Kenney in the L.A. Times ponders why the census is counting illegals and the problems this may cause with congressional-seat allocation. As if it wasn’t enough for this White House — which has many problematic people in place as well as some serious and shady ethical issues — to take over the census, uneasy Americans are further irritated at the fact that they are well aware that illegals are indeed being counted.
The article makes good points, but leaves off one critical aspect in its call for leadership in Congress to fix the problem because the answer to their question was addressed back in October and November 2009. Let’s review, very briefly. The LA Times states:
Worse yet, to the extent that the census accurately counts illegal immigrants, the greater the disproportionate representation accruing to states with large illegal communities, which cannot vote. Estimates vary, but a 2007 study by the Connecticut Data Center found that the 2010 census may affect the allocation of a dozen congressional seats on the basis of some states’ illegal immigrant populations.
The present potential for disaster, for severe damage to the principles of democratic representation and for the future of the republic itself should be a paramount concern for all Americans. The good news is that the Constitution leaves the manner of conducting the census, and the apportionment of the House, up to Congress. Passing a census reform law should be a relatively simple fix, if we have the leadership and the will to do so.
While I do agree with the points made by the authors, Senator David Vitter and I had previously written at Big Government about the critical problems with the census. I also highlighted the White House power grab making Americans very skeptical of its true intentions.
It was the Democrats and the procedural games played by Harry Reid that will allow the counting of illegals and yield data that could allow for the addition of several congressional seats that may not be warranted or properly represented.
Finally, it was the Republicans who showed leadership and the Democrats who effectively quashed it.
Specifically, Senators Vitter and Bob Bennett–both Republicans–showed the authors’ desired leadership when they both introduced legislation to prohibit the counting of illegals who ultimately could skew the count for representatives in Congress—even though they would not be able to vote in any elections. This amendment would have actually laid the foundation for census reform. The Democrats killed it.
Originally posted at Big Journalism