Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Democrats and the 2010 Census

Lacy Clay has chimed in again, this time regarding the upcoming 2010 census. In what is a move that many believe will bolster their ranks, the Democrats are blocking an amendment by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter to only count US citizens in the upcoming census. Clay believes that this is a stalling tactic and one Vitter is using to keep Louisiana from losing representation since many people have left the area since Katrina and have not returned. Vitter, instead states that he is truly concerned that areas with high immigrant, legal and otherwise, populations will wrongfully take away representation from Louisiana.

Currently, Vitter's amendment has stalled an appropriations bill to fund the census, but barely. Of the 60 votes needed to push the bill through without the amendment, it only received 56. The problem with that 56 is that 3 Democrats were out absent from the vote and Harry Reid voted against ramming the bill through.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that Harry Reid could be really concerned about his election chances next year. He is in what is appearing to be a tight race for his Senate seat. He is from Nevada which has a large illegal immigration issue and could be fearing repercussions of constituents who may not approve of him giving legal representation to illegal aliens.

Now, why would Clay be so gung ho to back this measure? It could be because north St. Louis city and county have a decent size immigration problem of our own. Unless you are in union circles you may not hear about the problems arising from Cuban/Latino and Bosnian immigrants, both legal and illegal, coming into St. Louis. These immigrants are working for cash and are being employed in construction, day laborers and flooring to name a few. In fact, the St. Louis business journal did an article which highlighted the hiring of Bosnians in hotels. The unions are not happy with this as a whole as many of these workers are non union and work for much less money and are willing to work more hours and even weekends (this is not a union debate just a statement of fact).

Clay knows that since he is the only guy in town as far as the north St. Louis city and county, he can afford to disgruntle the unions as they have no where else to turn. In addition, if illegal immigrants are counted in the upcoming census, it can help to concentrate his north city and outlining area base. In addition, Clay knows that by allow illegal immigrants to be counted in the upcoming census, it will help the Democrats retain control of the house.

Once again, this is a purely partisan move that has nothing to do with counting those who live in the US. Vitter's amendment will still count everyone living in the US, but will also allow those who are here illegally to be filtered out of the population numbers used to determine representation. His amendment makes total sense, which could be why Lacy and the other Democrats are against it. They claim that this amendment is discriminatory which is a completely bogus argument. They also claim that this will delay the Census’ start and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This may be true since several million of the questionnaires have already been printed and addendums would have to be added.

The fundamental question really comes down to this. Do illegal immigrants, non US citizens, deserve representation in government. This all goes back to the question "how do we handle illegal immigration?" This just reinforces the concept that the Dems would rather do nothing.

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