With the census six months away, the Commerce Department says it won't seek to halt immigration raids as a way to boost participation in hard-to-count communities.
In a statement Thursday, the department said it is committed to an accurate count of U.S. residents, including both legal and illegal immigrants. But spokesman Nick Kimball says officials will not ask the Homeland Security Department to refrain from exercising their "legal authority" to conduct large-scale immigration raids.
That position is a departure from the one taken in the 2000 census, when immigration officials at the request of the Census Bureau informally agreed not to conduct raids. The bureau two years ago asked DHS to hold off again in 2010, but that was rejected by the Bush administration.