(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter introduced an amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill that would require questions in the census regarding citizenship and immigration status. His amendment would also prevent states from counting illegal aliens for the purposes of determining population levels and other data associated with the census.
“The number of illegal immigrants has grown exponentially in recent years, and while my amendment won’t get us an exact number, it’s a necessary step to get accurate data about each state,” said Vitter. “In the past, some states have included illegal immigrants during the census, resulting in the allocation of additional congressional seats – Louisiana just lost a congressional seat which gives us one less voice in the House. We shouldn’t let these states be rewarded for skirting our federal laws and this amendment would help stop this practice.”
Vitter’s amendment would prevent funding from being used to collect census data that does not include questions regarding United States citizenship and immigration status. Vitter introduced a similar amendment in 2009 ahead of the 2010 census, but was given a bureaucratic answer that it was not submitted in time to affect the questions on the census.
In 2009, Vitter’s amendment was attacked as a “transparent political stunt.” In 2010 the Census Bureau took away a congressional seat from Louisiana, while states like Arizona, Florida and Texas who all have high numbers of illegal immigrants gained congressional seats.