OT? U.S. immigration to go slow against aliens during Census

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U.S. immigration to go slow against aliens during Census

By Aziz Haniffa

WASHINGTON: The U.S. immigration agency is directing its agents to postpone routine enforcement action so as not to interfere with the 2000 Census this spring and assure illegal aliens and others that it is safe to be counted.

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) said a soon-to-be-released directive to agents across the country is part of a broad campaign to persuade reticent, fearful and suspicious persons to comply with the headcount as the Census Bureau seeks to reverse a longtime trend of lower participation.

According to Ken Elwood, Deputy Executive Associate Commissioner for field operations at the INS, the agency was drafting a statement instructing agents to "stay away" from areas where the Census is being conducted.

Agents are expected to postpone action on routine, discretionary cases if they find that Census workers will be in the area or a Census event is scheduled, Elwood said. However, he asserted, the INS most certainly would not stop investigating cases involving national security or going after wanted felons.

Immigration advocacy groups had called for stronger orders to INS agents and a nationwide moratorium for a set period of time, but the immigration agency refused to acquiesce saying that could be abused by felons and other invididuals or groups sought by law enforcement.

Elwood said the agency's policy would be similar to the one used during the 1990 Census, but this time around immigration officials would coordinate better with Census officials. He also emphasised that the INS does not want to peruse any information from individual Census forms, which is against the law.

He pledged, "It's clearly our aim to do everything we can to make sure this is the best Census ever and that we do absolutely nothing that will interfere in the Census process."

As part of the confidentiality campaign, the Census Bureau has unveiled television advertisements calling on people not to be fearful to fill out forms, declaring that absolutely no information provided by them would be disclosed.

Three top baseball players -- Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter and Ivan Rodriguez -- have been roped in to emphasise that they are not at all afraid to fill out the Census forms because the information will be confidential. The 30-second advertisements, for which the players donated their time as a public service, will be shown on the major networks, cable stations and electronic scoreboards at most major league baseball stadiums.

In a speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens, President Bill Clinton also assured Americans that "information on Census forms is totally confidential." He said, "Now, if we believe everybody in our American community counts, we've got to make sure everyone is counted in this year's Census."

Census Director Kenneth Prewitt, while noting that most people fill out the questionnaires sent out by the Census Bureau, estimated that three to four per cent of Americans, the majority of them minorities, do not return their forms because they fear that private information would be given to the authorities. (India Abroad News Service)

) Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. 2000.

-- Possible Impact (posim@hotmail.com), February 22, 2000


Don't scare off the undomesticated sheeple, lure them into the fold.

-- Possible Impact (posim@hotmail.com), February 22, 2000.

They just equal more votes for the Dems. Go Bush's Mama's Boy, Go!!!

-- ,-, (comma@dash.comma), February 22, 2000.

The only constitutional purpose for the census is to properly allocate representatives in congress. Since illegals aren't supposed to be voting (I didn't say can't. I lived in CA and I know that they do.) why do we care if they are counted or not?

-- Chris Tisone (c_tisone@hotmail.com), February 22, 2000.

What Statements and Reasoning coming out of that Asylum in Washington.

-- Legal Resident (dumb@dumber.dumbest?), February 22, 2000.

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