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New census query would diminish stateÕs clout

Sen. David Vitter David Bruce Vitter (born May 3, 1961) is an American Republican politician, currently serving as the junior U.S. Senator from Louisiana. He was formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives, first elected in 1999, to represent the suburban First Congressional , R-La., and Sen. Robert Bennett Robert Bennett or Bob Bennett is the name of:
  • Robert Bennett (Melbourne mayor) (1822-1881), mayor of Melbourne (1861-1862).
  • Robert Russell Bennett (1894-1981), composer.
  • Robert Howard Bennett, 1948 Olympics bronze medalist in hammer throw.
, R-Utah, tacked an amendment onto an appropriations bill this month that, if passed, would greatly affect Nevada because of its relatively large Hispanic population.

The amendment would add an 11th question to next springs census, a question about citizenship and immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important.  status.

The two senators are trying to ensure that people who arent citizens are excluded from figures used for allocating congressional seats, a process that occurs every 10 years, after the census.

Nevadas growth over the past decade would almost certainly result in the states gaining at least one representative in Congress. That growth includes 230,000 illegal immigrants, giving the state the 13th-largest such population in the nation, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a 2008 Pew Hispanic Center estimate.

Two of the most visible opponents of the amendment are Southern Nevadans in and out of Congress Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Andres Ramirez, senior vice president of NDN NDN Indian
NDN Naples Daily News (Daily news paper in Naples Florida)
NDN Non Delivery Notification
NDN National Data Network
NDN Necdin
NDN New Democratic Network
NDN Next Door Neighbor
NDN Nevada Donor Network
, a Washington, D.C., think tank and advocacy group.

Reid tried to use a parliamentary procedure Oct. 13 to prevent the Senate from voting on the measure, but fell short on support.

Rebecca Fisher, spokeswoman for Republican Sen. John Ensign, said the senator has no position on the amendment.

Reids spokesman, Jon Summers, said the amendment is a partisan tactic designed to delay the passage of an important bill.

Vitter countered on a conservative radio talk show that Reid wants illegals counted in the census, wants illegals (counted) in the reapportionment reapportionment: see legislative apportionment.  of the House, according to the The Hill, a Beltway publication.

Meanwhile, Ramirez held a news conference Tuesday of 10 national groups opposed to the amendment, including the Hispanic National Bar Association The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is a non-profit, nation-wide association representing Hispanic persons in the legal profession — attorneys, judges, law educators and law students — in the United States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, District of Columbia,  and the NAACP NAACP
 in full National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Oldest and largest U.S. civil rights organization. It was founded in 1909 to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality for African Americans; W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B.

In an interview afterward, Ramirez said the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions make clear that congressional seats must be based on a states population. He noted that such a question could cause illegal immigrants and their family members to avoid participating in the census for fear that information about them would reach other government agencies.

The result would be an undercount un·der·count  
tr.v. un·der·count·ed, un·der·count·ing, un·der·counts
To record fewer than the actual number of (persons in a census, for example).
, which not only affects future political representation, but federal funding for roads, schools and other public expenditures, not to mention private sector planning.

An undercount would affect Nevada in particular because a quarter of the states population is Hispanic, said David Byerman, Nevadas chief representative for the Census Bureau. Nevada also has hundreds of thousands of people in so-called mixed-status families, meaning some of their relatives are in the country legally and others arent.

But Nevada and other states with large Hispanic populations may wind up not being hurt by the Vitter-Bennett amendment because its too late to shift gears, Byerman said.

Two congressionally mandated deadlines have come and gone April 1, 2007, when the agency outlined what subjects the census would cover, and the same date a year later, when the agency released the surveys 10 questions. We met both deadlines, Byerman said.

And the feds have printed 300 million forms. So printing new ones, not to mention reprogramming Reprogramming refers to erasure and remodeling of epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation, during mammalian development[1]. After fertilization some cells of the newly formed embryo migrate to the germinal ridge and will eventually become the germ cells  computers and retraining re·train  
tr. & intr.v. re·trained, re·train·ing, re·trains
To train or undergo training again.

 staff, would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, Byerman said.

Even if Congress wanted to spend additional money, the result would be the failure of our operation, he said. We could not meet statutory deadlines. One of those is Dec. 31, 2010, the date by which the agency has to submit data to the White House.

To achieve this, the agency needs to get its initial mailing out in late March, followed by a second mailing a month later and door-to-door visits starting May 1, lasting up to eight weeks.

Ramirez noted that census-takers in Nevada have another reason to be ready to start on time higher-than-normal transiency rates as a result of tops-in-the-nation foreclosure rates.

Timothy Pratt can be reached at 259-8828 or at
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Author:Timothy Pratt
Publication:Las Vegas Sun
Date:Oct 23, 2009
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