Remember David Vitter, the Louisiana pol who cavorted with prostitutes while proclaiming his strong family values? Well, it appears the Janus-faced Senator has returned to what he does best: bashing immigrants.
Vitter just introduced a bill that would ban millions of immigrants from being counted in the census. How? By only allowing US citizens to be counted in the 2010 Census (via NY Times):
Mr. Vitter's proposal, which would generally benefit non-urban areas where Republicans tend to dominate, could also affect reapportionment within each state.
"If Congressional and other redistricting was done in this manner, it would mean that regions of states that had fewer immigrants, such as upstate New York, would gain, while those with many immigrants would lose," said Andrew A. Beveridge, a Queens College sociologist who analyzed the census data. "This is going to disempower immigrants massively."
As we all know, it can take years to become a US citizen. At any given time, millions of Asian Americans and Latinos are waiting to become naturalized.
So Vitter's scheme is rather simple: if immigrants aren't counted in the Census, the states where they live will suffer in two critical ways. First, they could lose representation in Congress. What's more, they'll be deprived of their fair share of federal funding -- which is based on the census.
To her credit, Louisiana's other Senator, Mary Landrieu, rejected Vitter's ploy as an unconstitutional "political stunt".
Disappointingly, Anh "Joseph" Cao, the first Vietnamese American elected to Congress, tried to have it both ways -- but not before selling out the rights of immigrants:
Princella Smith, Cao's spokeswoman, said he is "emphatically against noncitizens being used in counting population numbers."
"However, as an immigrant, Congressman Cao understands that it is a priority that minorities and non-English speaking citizens participate in the census," Smith said.
Eh? Methinks Rep. Cao lacks some serious spine.
Vitter's bill is undemocratic, unconstitutional, and un-American. Please call your two Senators and tell them to reject Vitter's odious plan.
Update: Yesterday I called Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's office (225.342.0991) to ask whether he supports Sen. Vitter's plan to disempower immigrants. To date, I have received no response.