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Deciding who the census counts

November 08, 2009

Re "The illegal immigrant counts," Opinion, Nov. 2

Simplistic solutions to complex problems rarely work. I'm not sure who is more delusional, Gregory Rodriguez or U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) The census should be removed from the political process and done independently in a scientific manner.

The political questions that seem to be driving both sides in opposite directions are obvious: Should the distribution of federal money, seats in Congress and seats on the electoral college consider people in the country illegally? Should sanctuary cities that not only refuse to cooperate with federal authorities but publicly vow to actively impede them benefit from the resulting influx of millions of undocumented migrants?

Whatever your opinion of the political questions, it's hard to defend anything but the most accurate enumeration possible.

Joseph Areeda

Los Angeles

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Rodriguez claims he is against open borders but argues that illegals should be counted. When did permanent illegal residence become a "basic human right" granted by the U.S. Constitution? The only right to which illegals should be entitled is speedy deportation, a concept that Rodriguez never bothers to mention.

Ideally, the reason illegals would not be counted in the 2010 census would be because they had been sent back to their own countries.

James Dawson

Woodland Hills

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I am a lifelong Republican who voted for Richard Nixon in 1960, but have always been concerned about dehumanizing our immigrant families and workers in the U.S.

I got involved with the Day Workers Center in Laguna Beach originally to get these day laborers out of our neighborhoods. But I have come to know many of the workers. They are hardworking, believers in family values, honest and bent on improving their lives.

They do pay taxes. They do try to get their children educated. They do contribute to our local economy. More important, they teach our Anglo children the meaning of diversity and respect for difference.

Rodriguez is right in insisting that we recognize our productive noncitizen families and workers -- not just because they enhance our population for congressional representation and federal spending allocations but because they belong to our local communities.

Carl Schwarz

Aliso Viejo

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