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Archived: Editorial: No Immigration Reform No Census Count Campaign A Very Bad Idea

Eastern Group Publications received a Spanish language press release yesterday titled  “No Census Without Legalization.”

Remember the old phrase “Cutting off your nose to spite your face?” That is exactly what this ill-conceived and misguided campaign amounts to:  hurting undocumented immigrants to spite the people they believe hold the fate of the very same people in their hands.

Threatening to not cooperate with the 2010 US Census Count will do little to achieve the goals they purport to support; comprehensive immigration reform and legal status for people in the country without permission.
What it will do, should it succeed, is ensure that the very people who need the services and representation that an accurate Census count can achieve by bringing needed funds to California will not get them.

At risk from a Census undercount is the number of U.S. House of Representative seats that will be allocated to the state of California. A seat lost in California will surely undermine the number of votes the state can deliver to support comprehensive immigration reform when a vote finally comes.

How can that make sense to the groups advocating this ridiculous act?

Also, by refusing to be counted, California’s share of federal dollars that pay for things like schools and healthcare for children — many who are the US born children of undocumented immigrants — will decrease. So, the very families that are already struggling will suffer an even greater lack of services resulting from a lower population count if immigrants, legal or otherwise, refuse to be counted.

Our share of funds for housing, clean water, police, Medicare, transportation and more will be cut. Does this make any sense?

We do not believe this is the way to push immigration reform. If the supporters of this initiative think they can blackmail legislators into supporting legislation to achieve immigration reform by threatening to not be counted, and causing the same legislators to lose money for their districts, they are not living in the real world.

There are those in this country who would be happy to see the funding reduced for community work grants, education, health services and other programs, Those services are funded based on population numbers. They would love to see services to the US born children of undocumented immigrants, and all poor people for that matter, go away.

We suggest those advocating for non-cooperation with the 2010 US Census count if there is no immediate immigration reform stop this totally senseless move and instead focus their attention on achieving real and positive reforms.

When you cut off your nose, it is your face that will hurt.