U.S. Senate Marco Rubio told "FOX and Friends'' this morning that he supported a proposal by Lousiana Sen. David Vitter (yes, that David Vitter) that would add a citizenship question to U.S. Census forms.
"Not for purposes of deportation, but for census purposes,'' Rubio said. "They should not be counted towards the drawing of legislative seats or of congressional seats and here's why -- It's a voting rights issue. States that have more illegal immigrants are going to have more seats in Congress and therefore more votes in the Electoral College...It dilutes the voting rights of citizens and legal residents.''
Here's the glitch: Undocumented immigrants, already reluctant to fill out a government form, would be even less likely to acknowledge their illegal status. That means even fewer people would be counted, depriving the state of federal aid. So when those immigrants end up in the emergency room, who pays?
"The census determines the amount of funding that Florida gets for our schools, our public hospitals and so many important services that we provide on a daily basis,'' said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. "Census results determine the amount of power and influence our states and districts will face...Rubio's message seems to be that only U.S. citizens lives count, yet immigrants in our community who aren't U.S. citizens pay taxes and contribute to our economy. Even undocumented workers pay taxes, at very least they pay sales taxes.''
More on Rubio's position on the Census is here.