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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Census controversy over counting immigrants awaiting deportation

By Julissa Trevino | 03.26.10 | 1:00 pm

The debate over counting illegal immigrants on the census has been discussed over and over again.

But what about immigrant detainees awaiting deportation? The Texas Observer Thursday highlighted an interesting loophole in which immigrant detainees in detention centers are counted in the census. Then, those immigrants are deported, leaving their local or state jurisdiction with more money and political power.

The government will allocate more than $100 million in additional funds to places where immigrants are detained….

More than funding is at stake: The composition of legislative districts, county board districts, and city council districts could be skewed by soon-to-be-deported prisoners. Census data are used on the state and national levels to determine the sizes and shapes of these districts. The inclusion of detainees in the count means fewer eligible voters per elected official in places like Cameron County. It also violates the principle of “proportional representation.”

For decades, the government has included prisoners in the census, regardless of their immigration status. In the past, the impact of immigrant detainees has been slight. This is the first decennial census since the re-organization of immigrantion [sic] agencies and the subsequent boom in immigration detention. Immigration prisons have expanded from 7,500 beds in 1995 to more than 30,000 in 2010. About one-third of the nation’s immigrant detainees are held in Texas…

Until this census, the count had never identified exactly where “group quarters” like prisons are and how many people occupy them. For the first time, this census will let states decide whether to count detainees in local populations. By excluding prisoners, states would get a more accurate population count and would ensure that funds are not distributed according to locations of large detention centers. The amount of federal funding directed to the state would not change.

There’s been debate about where to count prisoners for the census — should they be counted in their home state or as residents of their prisons? Most states don’t allow prisoners to claim residency in the state where they are held. But since 1790, the Census Bureau has counted people using the “usual residency” rule, meaning their residency is where they spend most of their time.

The Prison Policy Initiative, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that documents the impact of prisoners on communities, recently released a report detailing why counting prisoners where they’re held can be damaging to the community as well as unconstitutional.

Unlike U.S. citizens in prisons (who will most likely still reside in the country when they’re released) these immigrant detainees don’t have that option.

Counting immigrant detainees — and illegal immigrants altogether, for that matter — in these states may strongly impact redistricting and the allotment of congressional seats. While many agree there are flaws in the way the census counts people — especially prisoners and illegal immigrants — some politicians who stand to benefit from these counts are defending the current policy. The Observer writes:

In Washington, there appears to be confusion about the inclusion of immigrant detainees in the census. Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, represents a district that includes the 1,900-bed South Texas Detention Center and the 450-bed Laredo Contract Detention Facility. He defended the inclusion of immigrant detainees: “Vitally important funding that supports these facilities relies, in part, on census data.”


  • annawoods04

    The population of Arizona has most likely increased, which means we will end up with one or maybe two more seats in Congress. The last thing this country needs is more congressmen from Arizona. So I am doing the country a service by not filling out the thing.

    Chicago liposuction

  • Jim

    I guess we should have waited on deporting all those illegals that ICE hauled out of Postville until after the census.

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