Fi2W launches its project on the Census with a radio piece and a live conversation on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on hard-to-reach immigrant households.
Tag: Immigrants and the Census
The Census Bureau has worked to convince immigrants that taking part in the 2010 count is in their best interest. But warnings that they will go undercounted persist.
The biggest advertising campaign of the new year isn’t selling cars, beer or burgers. The $340-million effort, which made its debut with a TV spot on the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday, encourages everyone in the U.S. to be counted in this year’s census.
Against an unsettling background of immigration raids and deportations, the U.S. Census Bureau expects to have a hard time convincing close to 12 million undocumented immigrants to take part in its population count next year.
After the Census Bureau said his initiative would prevent the 2010 Census from being completed on time, Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.) has partially backtracked on his proposal that the Census questionnaire inquire about each person’s immigration status.
“Vitter agreed to drop language that would require the census short form to ask every person about their immigration status,” Nola.com’s Jonathan Tilove reported on Thursday. The senator now wants the form to ask about respondents’ citizenship instead, said another Louisiana news site.
The senator’s shift came after the Census Bureau said that it was basically too late to make any changes, because most of the forms had already been printed, and adding questions would cost hundreds of millions of dollars for additional training for workers and software programming.
First, some immigrant activists proposed a boycott of the 2010 Census to show displeasure with immigration policies centered on enforcement and to demand comprehensive reform. Now, a U.S. senator is calling for the Census Bureau to not count undocumented immigrants.
The move by Sen. David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, comes as the Bureau has been reaching out to ethnic media and immigrant communities for months to ensure that the nation’s population is counted as accurately as possible, in fulfillment of its mandate.
Vitter’s office announced in a press release that he introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill “that would require questions in the census regarding citizenship and immigration status.”
The amendment “would also prevent states from counting illegal aliens for the purposes of determining population levels and other data associated with the census.”
Census representatives made a plea to New York ethnic journalists to help them spread the message that every New Yorker will benefit from the 2010 Census, even undocumented immigrants. City officials and immigrant organizations supported the initiative, during a press briefing held Tuesday at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
“Census data determine the number of delegates the city gets in Congress and the State Legislature, as well as the size of each of our 51 City Council districts,” said Stacey Cumberbatch, New York City director for Census 2010. “But they also determine how much federal funding New York City gets each year. This money funds things like health care, housing, education or senior services.”
Cumberbatch told the few dozen journalists at the briefing that in 2007 New York City got $22 billion (or $2,700 per person) to fund its various programs. That amount was calculated based on Census data using a simple equation: the more people counted, the more funding appropriated.