Alien exclusion from census?

Congress soon may consider whether the Census Bureau should exclude illegal aliens from the 1980 census so that they are not a factor in future legislative apportionment.

Sen. Walter D. Huddleston (D) of Kentucky and Rep. Clair W. Burgener (R) of California introduced legislation to that effect Wednesday, Monitor correspondent John Yemma reports. A panel of federal judges Tuesday dismissed a legal challenge to the counting of illegal aliens in the coming 1980 census and suggested Congress address the matter through legislation.

Under the Constitution, the Census Bureau must count "the whole number of persons" in the United States. That count then is used in aligning political districts. But the federation of American Immigration Reform has contended that this will distort the one-person, one-vote principle to the benefit of states with large illegal alien populations.

Civil-rights groups, however, say that illegal aliens pay US taxes and benefit from government services and therefore are entitled to political representation.

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