Posts tagged Papers please
Posts tagged Papers please
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) made a point about the potential for racial profiling in Arizona’s anti-immigration law on Wednesday by challenging members of the House to look at a series of photographs and determine which of the people were immigrants and which were citizens.
In a 5-4 ruling earlier this week, the the Supreme Court found that three out of four provisions of the Arizona law were unconstitutional because they were preempted federal laws. The court upheld that police could be required to inquire about immigration status when they stop suspects, but it left open the possibility of future challenges once that portion of the law was finally implemented.
"In Arizona today, all that stands between you and a legal nightmare is whether a police officer feels that there is a reasonable suspicion to inquire about your country of origin," Gutierrez explained. "Yet, Arizona politicians will tell you — with a straight face, no less — that they can apply this law without racial profiling, without assuming that someone named Gutierrez isn’t less likely to be in this country legally than someone named Smith. That’s an amazing skill!"
"I’m sure Justin helped Gomez learn all about American customs and feel more at home in her adopted country," the congressman said. "Oh, wait a minute. I’m sorry. Because I’m not a trained Arizona official, I somehow got that backwards. Actually, Ms. Gomez of Texas has helped Mr. Bieber of Canada learn about his adopted country. Justin, when you perform in Phoenix, remember to bring your papers," Gutierrez warned.
Indeed. Paging Joe Arpaio…
Last week, the Census Bureau provided the first peek at the results from the 2010 census.
The federal government uses these population counts to distribute federal dollars to the states. According to Andrew Reamer at the Brookings Institution, in 2008 the federal government distributed $866.5 billion in funds to the states based on the census population counts. Your state gets its share of the federal pie based on the number of people that are counted by the census. If there were $866.5 billion in funds to disperse in 2010, each person would be worth $2,807 in federal money to your state.
Note that I say “people” not “citizens.” This is where Arizona may have lost as much as three-quarters of a billion dollars annually in federal funding. The Arizona state government could have easily put this money to good use, as according to the New York Times, the state faced a $2.6 billion shortfall in fiscal year 2011.
I come to this conclusion by comparing what the Census Bureau expected Arizona’s population to be and what it really was — or at least who was counted. Throughout the decade, the Census Bureau demographers estimate each state’s population.
So, the Census Bureau demographers projected Arizona’s population to be 6,668,079 but the actual number was 6,392,017 or 276,062 fewer people than what the Census Bureau expected to find. This was the largest shortfall of any state in absolute numbers.
So why was the Census Bureau wrong? Or were they wrong? It is not unreasonable to surmise one of two things were contributing factors: Either Arizona’s undocumented population did not want to stick around in the state or they did not think it was wise to fill out a government form — even if their confidentiality is strictly guarded by the U.S. Census Bureau. If the shortfall was due to the latter, then at $2,708 a person, Arizona lost out on $775 million in federal grants per year.
Karma is a bitch, eh? Your whole “Papers, please” thing, Jan Brewer, just might have cost your state big. Really big.