LULAC Says Shortening Census Period Hurts Latinos
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Historically Undercounted Communities Will Suffer Most
Los Angeles, CA - Sindy Benavides, National Chief Executive Officer of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement about the Administration’s decision to end the self-reporting window and door knocking operations one-month earlier for the 2020 Census.
“It is simply inconceivable that we can achieve a full and accurate count by these actions at the time we need it most during a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting Latinos. This is yet another tactic from the Trump Administration to make our community invisible with an incomplete enumeration, which impacts critical funding, representation, and redistricting. Instead of ramping up its work, the Census Bureau cites the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for deciding to cut short the two most critical aspects of the census. First, there is the self-reporting phase and that is followed by community outreach to contact individuals and families who for one reason or another have not done so.
The latest figures compiled by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), show some very troubling trends that we will not be able to correct without sufficient time allotted. In Puerto Rico, only 18.9% have self-reported. In Texas, 56.1% of Latino households have filled out their surveys and in California, that rate is 62.4%. In fact, across the country and Puerto Rico more than one-third of Latino households are still not counted.”
Non-Response Follow-Up, also called NRFU, is decisive for the 2020 Census to provide a complete picture of hard-to-reach communities. These are people of color, immigrants, individuals with disabilities in rural areas, even young children. Often, these groups are the most overlooked and least counted. The result will be another ten years of denying them their fair share of federal funding and representation.
LULAC opposes shortening the census period and we are advocating for Congress to allocate the $400 million needed to finish the 2020 Census. These funds will help pay for what is the costliest and most labor intensive aspect of the count accessing remote and disaster impacted communities. Still, fair-minded American expect that everyone is afforded an equal opportunity to participate. Anything less violates the constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights of those who are excluded and is unacceptable.”