Cross posted from The Virtuous Republic
Did you hear this one? The Census Bureau asked ICE to suspend immigration raids during the 2010 census so as not to scare illegal aliens. This is the mindset that proponents of secured borders have to battle. At least ICE said no.
Census officials had planned to speak with immigration agents about curbing enforcement during the population count, the Census Bureau’s second-ranking official said in an interview earlier this week.
Raids during the population count would make an already distrustful group even less likely to cooperate with government workers who are supposed to include them in the headcount, Deputy Director Preston Jay Waite had said.
When asked Thursday if the immigration enforcement agency would consider suspending raids during the census, spokeswoman Pat Reilly said, “If we were, we wouldn’t talk about it.”
“We’re an investigative agency,” she added. “We don’t talk about how we target our enforcement activities.”
The Constitution requires the Census Bureau to count everyone, including illegal immigrants, in the census.
Immigration agents informally agreed to cooperate with the Census Bureau during the 2000 census by not conducting any large-scale raids, said Waite and Kenneth Prewitt, who directed the Census Bureau during the 2000 count.
Public discussion about possibly repeating the policy in 2010 knocked the Bush administration off message a week after two members of the president’s Cabinet announced stepped-up efforts to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.
Nantel said she wanted to clarify the enforcement agency’s position.
“I don’t want there to be any question in the American people’s mind as to whether or not ICE would suspend enforcement efforts,” Nantel said. “The answer to that is emphatically no.”
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