A little-noticed item last week on funding for the 2010 census gives clues about what's likely to happen next year regarding immigration enforcement:
The Census Bureau plans to cut spending on advertising and community outreach for the 2010 census by at least a fourth compared with the 2000 census, provoking concern among congressional overseers that historically difficult-to-count groups such as minorities and illegal immigrants will not be accurately tallied.
And why are illegal aliens difficult to count? Because the immigration "gestapo agents" are oppressing them:
"With all the discussion of immigration reform, and the negativity in particular with respect to Latinos, there's especially going to be a lot of trepidation about filling out a government document," said Ramos, whose group sits on the Census Bureau's advisory council for the 2010 census.
One of the responses?
In addition, for the first time the bureau will be sending bilingual Spanish-English questionnaires as well as a second mailing to households that do not respond to the first one — a measure that testing suggests can increase mail-back rates by as much as 8 percent.
Another response will almost certainly be an effort to halt immigration enforcement during the period leading up to the census, so as not to deter illegal aliens from responding — this is what hapopened in 1980 under the Carter Administration. And the Census Bureau has already called for a halt to enforcement to aid in the counting of illegals. In fact, I expect that the new administration will use the upcoming census as one of the reasons for halting enforcement starting in January 2009, so that by April 1, 2010, the illegals will feel secure enough to respond to a government survey.
Think this doesn't matter? Think again: "four states each had one fewer seat because of the presence of illegal immigrants. Indiana, Michigan, and Mississippi each lost one seat in the House, and Montana failed to gain a seat it otherwise would have gained because of the inclusion of illegal aliens in the 2000 Census."