The recent rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric and raids over the past few years has made Latinos fearful of giving information to the government, which creates challenges for civil rights organizations that are working to ensure that Latinos are fully counted in the 2010 census.
During the last two censuses, the Census Bureau missed counting millions of people – mostly minorities and low-income people. Latinos, who are the largest minority group in the nation, were missed at a higher rate than other racial and ethnic groups.
Undercounting certain populations may reduce federal funding for hospitals, education, child care, disaster preparation – as well as fair representation in Congress.
Addressing this challenge is a major priority for Latino advocacy groups like the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), who just had its 4th annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C.
Both groups will be working in partnership with other civil rights organizations like LCCREF to inform minority communities about the importance of the census and encouraging people in those communities to fill out their census forms.