- The Washington Times - Friday, December 11, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Obama administration has dramatically realigned the 2010 census, practically transforming it into an arm of the illegal-immigration lobby by partnering with nearly two dozen pro-amnesty organizations. A comparison of census documents from 2000 reveals that’s three times as many illegal-alien-amnesty organizations as were active during the Clinton administration census.

The administration’s move will cause reverberations far beyond the arcane world of census numbers. The count of illegal immigrants could shift as many as eight congressional seats and reshape the Electoral College map for the next presidential election.

As many as five battleground states from the 2008 election are slated to lose or gain seats before the 2012 election - changing each state’s number of Electoral College votes - because of the illegal alien count.

That’s not such a good idea. In a hiring frenzy necessary to perform the census, recruitment of census workers depends on census “partners” to pull in their members.

Thousands of members and allies recruited by pro-amnesty groups could be responsible for counting the population as the foot soldiers of the census. After recruits pass an FBI background check and fingerprinting, the census hiring arm turns its collective head away from their new employee’s private political agenda.

This summer, amid scandal, the Census Bureau bumped ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) from its partnership ranks when the organization was outed for promoting criminal activity. Despite strict criteria to guard the bureau from working with radical political groups like ACORN that might undermine public trust in the count, groups with dubious agendas and controversial histories are involved in the census more than ever before.

Seven Census Bureau partners are part of an umbrella group called the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, an organization that loudly advocates amnesty for millions of illegals.

Leading the way is the National Council of La Raza, whose leaders serve as representatives on the NHLA board and on several committees. La Raza, which means “the race,” was founded on the idea that much of the American Southwest was “stolen” from Mexico and should be returned.

La Raza serves on the NHLA civil rights committee, which advocates legislation making it easier for illegals to vote. Census partners National Institute for Latino Policy and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute also serve the committee that opposes voter identification and proof-of-citizenship laws.

Pro-amnesty census partners not associated with NHLA include the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Not only does the organization pursue an extreme agenda, but Mr. Jackson’s organization is known for corporate fundraising during which companies are threatened with protests and negative publicity unless they fill the Rainbow PUSH collection plate.

Mr. Obama’s home cheering section and census partner, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), also has gotten involved in amnesty legislation. SEIU is the go-to lobby for the Obama White House. SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger has been appointed to Mr. Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and SEIU President Andy Stern is a regular White House visitor.

Both bureaucrats were registered lobbyists before SEIU donated nearly $30 million to the Obama campaign. The group Americans for Tax Reform has requested an investigation by the Justice Department into illegal lobby activity by Ms. Burger, Mr. Stern and the SEIU.

The Census Bureau justifies its alliances with extremist groups such as La Raza and ACORN as part of an effort to reach hard-to-count populations. The bureau is right to take strong measures to make sure it conducts the best count possible, but alliances with left-wing extremists are an unnecessary shortcut that will undermine trust in the census among mainstream Americans. That’s too high a price for a slight improvement in counting people who shouldn’t be here anyway.

Anthony Bowe was a Washington Times intern through the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism. Since September, he has written the Local News Blogging column on The Washington Times’ Water Cooler blog. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s journalism program this spring.

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