Push Made to Count Latinos in 2010 Census

With the 2010 Census around the corner, there’s a real push to encourage Latinos to participate in this year’s count since the Hispanic community is typically shy when it comes to reporting themselves to the Census Bureau fearing penalties, jail time or deportation if they’re undocumented. What they might not know is that the Census Bureau cannot share their results with any other government agency (like the FBI, IRS or the USCIS) and the information they collect helps allocate the $400 billion in government funding where it’s needed (think education, businesses and health care). An under-count means less money for “less people.” The census count also determines how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Typically the Latino community is scared, especially if they're undocumented," said Diana Rodriguez of the Sacramento Latino Complete Count Committee. "They'll typically mark 'other' or they'll mark themselves as a different race."

In Sacramento, Calif., more than 200 local leaders banded together to make sure the city’s Latinos are counted. An under-count could cost the city tens of millions of dollars—money which would aid immigrant programs.

To preview the 10 questions on the census forms that will be mailed out in March, visit 2010.census.gov.