From: Census2000 <Census2000(a)ccmc.org>
Virginia Lawmakers Move to Bar Use Of Scientifically-Corrected
Plus: Census Bureau Clarifies Policy for Hiring Non-Citizens;
Congressional Oversight Hearing Scheduled
The Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill (HB 1486) that would
require the use of unadjusted census figures for congressional,
state, and local redistricting. The House bill, passed on February
9, now goes to the State Senate Privileges and Elections Committee.
Republicans hold the majority in both chambers of the Virginia
legislature; Governor James Gilmore III (R) has said he supports
efforts to prohibit the use of statistically-adjusted census numbers
The Virginia action comes in the wake of similar debate in state
houses across the country over the use of census numbers corrected
on the basis of the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation, or ACE,
survey. Under the Census 2000 plan, census enumerators will start
contacting residents of the 300,000 households in the ACE survey, by
telephone, in early May. Interviewing will begin in mid-June and
continue through mid-August, 2000.
Last year, four states -- Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas --
enacted laws barring the use of census numbers derived in part
through statistical sampling methods in the redistricting process.
Alaska and Arizona must obtain approval from the U.S. Department of
Justice, under section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (as amended),
before the new laws can take effect.
Update on hiring policy for non-citizens: The Census Bureau has
clarified its policy for hiring non-citizens during Census 2000. If
the Bureau identifies a need for translation skills in certain
communities, it will hire non-citizens (who are otherwise legally
eligible to work in the United States) to help with the count,
regardless of their country of origin. According to the Bureau, "In
some communities employment of individuals with translation skills
will emerge as an immediate hiring requirement. Candidates who meet
these requirements and are legally authorized to work in the United
States may be hired to work on the census."
The Census Bureau may hire non-citizens for Census 2000 jobs that do
not require translation skills if other legal constraints are
followed. Last summer, the Department of Commerce issued a waiver
allowing the Census Bureau to hire temporary employees for Census
2000 without giving priority to U.S. citizens. However a recent
U.S. General Accounting Office report noted that since 1939,
Congress has prohibited most Federal agencies from hiring
non-citizens within the United States. But current law also grants
certain exceptions to the ban, including persons from countries
allied with the U.S. in a defense effort, citizens from Ireland,
Israel, and the Philippines, and persons from U.S. territories.
Another exception involves the need for translation skills, as the
Bureau tries to persuade immigrants to participate in the census and
helps them complete the forms.
All qualified job applicants must be legally eligible to work in the
United States. The Census Bureau must hire about 500,000 temporary
employees to fill 860,000 positions during peak census operations.
It hopes some workers will perform more than one job.
Congressional hearing scheduled: The House of Representatives
Subcommittee on the Census (Committee on Government Reform) will
hold an oversight hearing on Tuesday, February 15, to discuss the
U.S. General Accounting Office's oversight of Census 2000
operations. The hearing begins at 2:00 p.m. in room 2247 Rayburn
House Office Building.
Questions about the information contained in this News Alert may be
directed to TerriAnn Lowenthal at 202/484-2270 or, by e-mail at
terriann2k(a)aol.com. For copies of previous News Alerts and other
information, use our web site www.census2000.org
<http://www.census2000.org>. Please direct all requests to receive
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