March 2, 2010 | The Epoch Times | Original Article

Latinos Called on for Census Turnout

NEW YORK—Elected leaders, faith leaders, and community members called on Latinos, regardless of immigration status, to participate in the upcoming 2010 Census.

A press conference held at City Hall on Monday stressed the importance of having all Latinos counted so that federal funds are fairly distributed and the size of congressional districts are fairly designated. Nearly $400 billion in federal funds are distributed each year via various government services.

New York's Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez said that during the last census, 200,000 people went uncounted in New York, which she said “represents a lot of dollars lost” and many “individuals without necessary resources … and a loss of representation.”

The census begins in New York on April 1. The 2010 Census will be on a double-sided questionnaire in English and Spanish. The 10-question form can be completed in around 10 minutes maximum, says the Census Bureau.

"They don't ask whether you're an alien or not. They don't ask your immigration status. All they want to know is how many people reside in your household at that time," said Councilman Robert Jackson.

Jackson said many of the leaders in the religious community will participate in telling their congregations about getting involved with the census.

He added that many immigrants, Latino or otherwise, don't choose to be counted in the census, fearing that the government may not keep their information confidential.

"When you communicate with them that it's strictly confidential and that nothing will happen to them," said Jackson. "I know that they will listen."

The coalition was organized by the Latino Commission on AIDS and the Hispanic Federation.

Other than New York, leaders in Washington D.C. pushed a similar message. The Leadership Conference Education Fund (The Education Fund), the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and the NAACP asked for all persons in the region to participate and be counted.