Phoenix, AZ – The question of how many new seats the state gets in Congress
after 2010 could depends on immigration officials. Arizona Public
Radio's Howard Fischer explains.
John Trasvina is the head of the Mexican American Legal Defense
and Education Fund. One of his interests is getting as many
Hispanics counted in the 2010 Census as possible. But he said
there's a hurdle to that.
(We cannot educate the community about the Census as well as we
want to until we know that the Department of Homeland Security is
not going to be out there at the same time as the Census
enumerators are out there, knocking on doors, asking for people's
names and who lives in a particular house.)
He wants a commitment to halt raids during the 2010 Census. There
is precedent for that, with immigration officials scaling back in
1990 and again in 2000. But the issue affects more than the
Hispanic community. It's pretty clear Arizona is going to get a
ninth seat in the U.S. House after the decennial count. But the
ability to get a 10th seat could depend on counting everyone in
Arizona, legal and otherwise. And there are a lot to be counted.
Recent estimates show about 700,000 of the state's 6.4 million
residents are not U.S. citizens, with about two thirds of them
here illegally. Gov. Janet Napolitano is on record opposing
putting raids on hold.
For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.