The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years, and the data it produces is critical to all policies and programs on the federal, state and city levels.
That’s why it’s important that when the census comes around shortly in 2020, all residents, regardless of citizenship status, must fill out their form and be counted.
However, the Department of Commerce has made an accurate count more difficult to achieve by attempting to add a question about citizenship status onto the form. Civil rights organizations, immigrants right groups and cities across the country are suing the agency to block that question.
There is no reason to have a citizenship question on the census. All that would do is frighten immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, from filling out their form and have their voices heard.
When immigrants are undercounted, cities like New York are harmed because they won’t get the federal dollars needed to provide programs in education, housing and senior centers. We must do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Especially in boroughs like Queens and Brooklyn, two of the most diverse counties in the entire world, we must get the message out that everyone should participate in the 2020 Census.
This year, the census can be filled out online for the first time in history. Participants can also provide the information over a toll-free phone call, on paper or, as a last resort, when a census worker comes knocking on your door.
Tell your family, friends and neighbors that when April 2020 comes around, be counted in the U.S. Census.