Nathan Stubbs

Lafayette Chamber urges state to sue the U.S. Census Bureau

by Nathan Stubbs

Another salvo in the battle over an "accurate" 2010 Census count: The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce has fired off a letter to state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell requesting that the state consider suing the U.S. Census Bureau. At issue is the Census Bureau's plan to count everyone in the country, regardless of whether they're here illegally. This would boost the populations of states like California and Texas, with high numbers of undocumented workers and other non-citizens, while states like Louisiana lose out.

A press release from the Chamber this morning states plainly the high stakes involved: "Lafayette stands to lose representation in Washington, as well as in our state legislature, and millions of dollars in federal and state funds." Chamber President/CEO Rob Guidry states, "The Chamber is most concerned with what we understand is the census bureau's refusal to ask whether those being counted are in fact citizens of the United States. Such measures would skew the numbers and result in an unconstitutional increase in the number of representatives in some states and deprive some other states, like Louisiana, of their rightful political representation." The press release concludes, "the purpose of the letter is to secure a commitment from Caldwell to sue the United State Census Bureau on behalf of the state of Louisiana, if necessary."

The letter comes as an effort from U.S. Sen. David Vitter to delineate citizens from non-citizens in the Census count appears to be stonewalled in Congress.