On October 7, 2009, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) proposed an amendment to the Commerce, Science and Justice appropriations bill that makes funding the collection of census data contingent upon the Census Bureau including a question regarding U.S. citizenship on the short-form census questionnaire.
WHY SHOULD SENATORS OPPOSE THE AMENDMENT?
The Vitter Amendment will chill the participation of both native-born and immigrant respondents who will question the utility of such information for the purposes of apportionment. We want to encourage — not discourage — people to participate in the 2010 Census.
The Vitter amendment is NOT the same question used in the American Community Survey (ACS), which is mailed to 1/6 of households. The decennial census questionnaires are mailed to 100% of households and have never contained a question regarding citizenship.
The Vitter amendment would cause the government to waste billions of dollars that the Department of Commerce has already invested in research, planning, and preparation for the 2010 decennial census.
Our Constitutional values mandate that our government accurately count all persons residing in our nation. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution clearly states that members of the House of Representatives are apportioned according to a complete count of each state’s residents. Members of Congress represent all residents in their districts, not just those who can vote. For example, we count children in the Census for apportionment purposes in order for states to receive adequate funding and resources to meet the needs of children and families.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Get involved! Contact your Senators and tell them:
To OPPOSE the Vitter-Bennett amendment!
Contact your congressional representatives TODAY by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or by clicking here (for your Senators) to send a message electronically.
Your input makes a BIG difference, and every message counts. ACT NOW!