CENSUS WATCH: Labor escalates opposition to controversial Vitter amendment
Any day now, the Senate could take up debate on an amendment introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) requiring that the 2010 count ask residents about their citizenship status.
As Facing South reported earlier, a bipartisan group of former Census directors urged Congress to reject the measure because it would "put the accuracy of the enumeration in all communities at risk and would likely delay the start of the census."
But Sen. Vitter and the amendment's co-sponsor, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT), are planning to move forward when the appropriation bill for the 2010 Census comes up for a vote.
That has lead Service Employees International Union to launch a "Don't Wreck the Census" campaign, which leads with this call to action:
"Some politicians come up with dumb ideas. Some come up with impractical ideas that would cost taxpayers millions of dollars. And then there are those lawmakers with crazy proposals that would violate the United States Constitution."
Republican Senators Vitter and Bennett hit the trifecta by trying to wreck the US Census.
SEIU goes on to note that the Vittter/Bennett measure would force the Census Bureau to reprint 120 million forms and face other logistical hurdles -- all with the Census less than six months away.
Which is exactly why the amendment is unlikely to pass. But, like Rep. Joe Wilson's "you lie!' moment, stirring up the immigration debate is red meat for the Republican base -- especially in Southern states, where Latino immigration is rising fastest.
For more on SEIU's campaign, visit here.