Sunday, August 19, 2007

The census, raids, and the constitution

There have always been questions about the accuracy of the census with regard to undocumented immigrants. In 2000, immigration officials informally agreed to halt large-scale raids while the census was taking place so that the count could be as accurate as possible. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is refusing to do so for 2010 with the obligatory tough talk:

"I don't want there to be any question in the American people's mind as to whether or not ICE would suspend enforcement efforts," Nantel said. "The answer to that is emphatically no."

To what degree could that be considered unconstitutional? Article 1, section 2 states “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.”

If the government is interfering with “actual enumeration,” then it’s not unreasonable to argue that it is violating the constitution.


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