Census Counts Undocumented Immigrants

New Mexico – The U.S. Census Bureau is counting illegal immigrants facing deportation in detention centers across the country about 30,000 people on any given day.

Because the population snapshot determines the allocation of federal dollars, those in custody could help bring money to the towns, cities and counties where the centers are located, even though the detainees will likely be long gone by then.

But the bureau's decision to give states the option for the first time of not counting illegal immigrants in the city where they are being detained has worried some politicians.

Many of the largest and newest detention centers for illegal immigrants are located in small towns and give local populations significant boosts.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.