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Junior Sen. Steve Daines' opinion piece on adding the citizenship question back to the census glosses over a few details, which isn't very surprising considering his inexperience. We haven't had that question on a census since 1950, some 70 years ago. That may be why Daines neglected to mention that fact, considering he wasn't even born yet.

More so, while we estimate there are some 11-12 million people here illegally, contrary to Daines' rhetoric, they don't all live in California or New York. Heck, Montana has been known to house and employ more than a few such "illegals" here in our own state.

As such, there's no guarantee of Montana gaining another seat anytime soon. There are other states fighting for that additional seat, too.

What we need is an accurate accounting of people so that we can make the right decisions for our State. Using a Census form that will encourage people to lie or avoid completing it will not serve us best. It should also be noted that unlike Montana, California pays in more federal taxes than it receives back in aid. Should we let the junior Republican senator continue to push for more dependency on federal funds, or should he be focusing on growing Montana's independence and self-sufficiency through growth and development where it counts?

Let's focus on building an even better Montana, one where our children, and their children, can stay and make a living. Do that and we won't need that federal welfare.

Daniel Granot

Billings

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