WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Census Bureau would ask whether people are in the United States legally under an amendment being considered Wednesday, its sponsors say.
The measure's authors, Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Bob Bennett of Utah, say it is meant to ensure that illegal immigrants are not counted in the 2010 Census, which will be used to determine the allocation of congressional seats and representation, USA Today reported.
"Illegal aliens should not be included for the purposes of determining representation in Congress, and that's the bottom line here," Vitter told the newspaper.
The move, which is expected to to come up for a vote in the Senate Wednesday, comes even as the Census Bureau is staging an outreach push to persuade reluctant residents to answer its questions. And, officials say, 425 million questionnaires have already been printed and are ready to be mailed.
"It's operationally impossible," Steve Jost, Census associate communications director, told USA Today, saying adding new questions at this point would require the forms to be redesigned. "The forms are printed, folded. We have bilingual forms. ... We're printing 1.5 million forms a day."