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Concerns about the Census

We need to pay attention to this.

Latino leaders are warning of a developing crisis in the 2020 census and demanding that the Census Bureau act aggressively to calm fears in immigrant populations about data misuse.

Citing focus groups and initial interviews in Texas and across the country, the bureau’s Mikelyn Meyers recently reported “an unprecedented groundswell in confidentiality and data sharing concerns” related to the 2020 count.

“We’re concerned that this may present a barrier to participation in the 2020 census,” she said. “And this is particularly troubling due to the disproportionate impact on hard-to-count areas.”

Harris County, which is roughly 42 percent Hispanic, has long been an area of concern for the Census Bureau. Last spring, officials tested new technology in only two counties – Harris and Los Angeles – aimed at improving response rates in hopes of finding solutions before 2020.

More than 1.45 million people live in what are considered “hard-to-count” census tracts in the nine congressional districts that include Harris County, according to U.S. census data analyzed and mapped by the City University of New York’s Center for Urban Research. The researchers counted tracts with response rates below 73 percent in the 2010 census as “hard to count.”

Laura Murillo, president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, noted that the Latino community has historically shied away from participating in census surveys. For the 2010 census, the Houston chamber hosted information sessions and explained that responses assist the government in making decisions about how to spend federal tax dollars.

While Murillo said the chamber is willing to partner with the Census Bureau again, the federal government’s actions on immigration have alienated many Latinos and will make openly sharing information with government officials a hard sell. She cited the Trump administration’s decisions to push for a border wall and end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, also known as DACA, as reasons some may find to be wary.

“Trust has been breached,” she said.

Two things to remember. One is that the Census is actually specified in the Constitution, so just on that alone it’s a big deal. Two, in addition to political purposes such as apportioning Congressional districts, businesses and academics and local governments and more rely heavily on the demographic and economic data that the Census provides. We need to get this right, and that means (urk) depending on the Trump administration to not screw it up. You can see why people are raising the alarm.

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3 Comments

  1. neither here nor there says:

    What the Republicans will find is that the number of people who live in Texas has gone down. If I was an undocumented person no way in hell would I answer the census. Less representation in Congress and because of the packing of Democrats that means that they will lose a Republican or two in congres, which is good in my opinion.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Neither:

    Undocumented immigrants hiding from the census dilutes their power in Congress, which is great for me, but I don’t understand why you would support that. Look at California. Probably even more undocumented people there than even Texas. When they lose house seats, they are losing open border seats. Pubs won’t lose seats, it will be the Dems that lose them.

  3. neither here nor there says:

    Bill I don’t try to convince people that have closed minds or that have indicated their love for this country by voting for a person that was supported, helped, and elected with the help of the Russian government. Trump and his supporters are traitors to America and everything it stands for.