Local Politics

Illegal immigrants urged to be counted

Posted March 17, 2010
Updated March 20, 2010

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— The Census Bureau estimates that nearly 3 percent of the country's Hispanic population, or about 1 million people, were not counted in the 2000 census, compared to about 1 percent of the general population.

Census trying to reach immigrants Census trying to reach immigrants

Tony Asion, executive director of El Pueblo, an local advocacy group for Latinos, said Wednesday that he fears the problem will happen again. He said Hispanics living illegally in the state may not respond to census forms.

"People are a little apprehensive about getting involved in anything the government does,” he said. "They fear that if they participate in the census, the government is going to come out and come after them."

"The Hispanic population is very important to us," said Bill Baiocchi, who heads the Raleigh census office.

Baiocchi said Latino participation is vital to this year's count. In Wake County alone, the Hispanic population grew 200 percent from 2000 to 2008. Hispanics now account for approximately 8 percent of the county's population, Baiocchi said.

As part of its Latino outreach efforts, the Census Bureau for the first time is mailing out bilingual English-Spanish census forms to 13 million households.

Baiocchi said Hispanics should not worry about filling out the form if they are an illegal immigrant. The census does not ask about a person's immigration status and is only interested in counting residents.

"All we do is count people, we do not count citizenship,” Baiocchi explained.

Census forms, which began arriving Monday in mailboxes, carry high-stakes ramifications for the return of federal funding to municipalities.

"For every person that is counted, it is in terms of revenue, about $1,500 per person, per year,” Baiocchi said.

The census is also responsible for the apportionment of congressional seats. The 2000 census count gave North Carolina another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"In order to affect change, the government needs to know how many Latinos there are,” Asion said.

Census is 10 simple questions

The 10-question form is one of the shortest in the history of the census. It asks a person’s name, address, phone number, age, race and ethnicity, gender, living arrangements and home ownership. The information is kept strictly confidential under federal law, and the Census Bureau does not share data with other agencies, including law enforcement.

"Everybody who works for the census takes an oath, which says that if we get caught sharing that personal information with anyone unauthorized, we are susceptible to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine,” Baiocchi said.

Failure to respond to the census carries a fine of up to $5,000.

Sample 2010 census form at: http://tinyurl.com/yfurltt

172 Comments

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  • roncorey1 Mar 19, 2010

    People need to be careful when discussing the illegal alien problem. Careful not to openly assume they are all Hispanic/Latino (even thiugh they are). Pro-illegal groups like El Pueblo want the illegal alien problem to morph into an ethnic/racial conflict so they can call all folks who want are against illegal immigration "racists" and "xenophobic".
    On one hand they will say that all illegal aliens are not Latino, (which is true, but the overwhelming majority are), and on the other hand they are a Latino advocacy group promoting illegal amnesty.....they are two-faced, double-talking hypocrites!

  • doubletap357 Mar 19, 2010

    I don't believe illegal aliens should be counted in the census. In my opinion it doesn't really matter if they contribute to the economy or whether or not we benefit from them being here. Even if they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, the bottom line is that they came here in knowing violation of our laws and have no right to be here. When they are found they should be immediately deported and never allowed back in the country again. If there are problems with the system that regulates legal immigration then those problems should be the focus of change. Justifying illegal immigration because some may benefit is like justifying bank robbery because the robber then makes purchases in the local market place. For this reason I believe that persons who encourage illegal immigration because they will benefit from it should be punished severely.

  • 6079 SMITH W Mar 18, 2010

    go4gin: Amen, sister..............Amen.

  • WRALSUCKS Mar 18, 2010

    All we need to do is have INS go out with the Census workers.

  • go4gin Mar 18, 2010

    QUOTE:
    Tony Asion, executive director of El Pueblo, an local advocacy group for Latinos, said Wednesday that he fears the problem will happen again. He said Hispanics living illegally in the state may not respond to census forms.

    "People are a little apprehensive about getting involved in anything the government does,” he said. "They fear that if they participate in the census, the government is going to come out and come after them."

    UNLESS, of course it comes to taking money from the Government! Manna from Heaven for them!

  • Plenty Coups Mar 18, 2010

    "That is something I can agree with. But they still need to go through proper avenues."

    That was actually proposed. Make them pay a fine first, then send the troublemakers back and let the hard workers stay here. Continue to tighten the border.

  • juliemarie Mar 18, 2010

    Hardwork 919: "My solution: make them citizens and tax them so that money pours in."

    That is something I can agree with. But they still need to go through proper avenues.

  • josephlawrence43 Mar 18, 2010

    A little more checking shows, on a state by state breakdown of the costs of illegal aliens--NC ponies up $1.7Billion every year for education ( elementary, secondary and comm. college/4 year schools), free medical & dental care, "social assistance" such as WIC, Welfare, etc. This is for illegal aliens, the children of illegal aliens who are born here, etc). And Bubbles Purdue wonders how we can cut our state spending.

  • chevybelair57sd Mar 18, 2010

    It's amazing that all these politicians are so emboldened as to want federal aid for harboring illegal immigrants and encouraging them to live in NC. We better remove our heads from our posteriors while we can or we'll have no say so in a short time at the poles. vote the Bums out, ALL of them!!!

  • affirmativediversity Mar 18, 2010

    Oh and Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and all the DEM Elite applauded Bank of America for their "diversity"!!!!!!

    Now, Chris Dodd wants to "control" banking reform...yeah right!

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