Trump’s hard line on immigration could threaten the accuracy of the census

The Venture

Trump still hasn't named a Director for the census and the funding for 2020 is set to be less than 2010 when Latinos were undercounted. I know there's a lot going on, but this is urgent.

The Trump administration has used the most of its federal authority to crack down on immigrants in the United States. But when it comes to the 2020 census, it will also be tasked with counting them.

Trump still has to name a director for the Census Bureau, and Congress has set a funding cap for the 2020 census that is certain to be inadequate. With leadership and budget woes, there is concern as to how the Bureau will accurately count vulnerable populations — especially communities that include undocumented immigrants.

To understand how the Trump administration’s priorities might affect undocumented Latino immigrants, and in some cases even documented citizens who live with undocumented individuals, I turned to Arturo Vargas, a member of the Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. He is also the executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Educational Fund.

“For immigrants, there’s always been a fear that data could be shared with the immigration enforcement arms of the federal government,” Vargas says.

He said Latino Americans face all sorts of threats from a president openly hostile to them, and advocates are concerned that inadequate attention to the census could hurt Latinos even more.

“It’s often the communities who are most likely to be missed or undercounted in the census that miss out on the resources of which they are most in need,” Vargas says. “Assuring these families that their census data is going to be safe and confidential is going to be a particular challenge for the 2020 census.”

I interviewed Vargas to ask him about the leadership, funding, outreach, and accuracy challenges the Census Bureau is facing — and what it could mean for the 2020 census and for vulnerable populations in the US.


Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

More Latinas are becoming teachers and reshaping our nation’s classrooms

Victor Landa November 29, 2017

The growth of the Latino population in the United States will have a lasting cultural and intellectual impact beyond the arts, food, and celebrations. More and more, Latinas are becoming […]

Could Hispanic vote push Lupe Valdez into Texas Governor’s Office?

Victor Landa December 8, 2017

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is running as a Democratic candidate for Texas Governor after a year of speaking out on big state issues– particularly the controversial sanctuary cities ban. Experts says […]

Rosca de Reyes – A Slice of Gospel and Tradition #Recipe

Victor Landa January 4, 2018

Often used as evangelizing tools, celebrations in Mexico feature elements that are charged with symbolism. Take the piñata, for example, used as an allegory of sin (colorful and appealing on the […]

Brookline High Students Walk Out of Class for 2nd Time Over Racist Snapchat Videos

Victor Landa December 1, 2017

Hundreds of students in Massachusetts staged a high school walkout for a second time Thursday in support of a classmate who was the target of a racist slur in at […]

This Latino Democrat wants to get 50 Latinos in Congress by 2023

Victor Landa December 6, 2017

When Antonio “Tony” Cárdenas told BOLD PAC, a growing Democratic Political Action Committee dedicated to increasing the diversity of leadership in the House and Senate, that he would triple the $1 million in its […]

We sang in Spanish, fell in love with ‘Coco’ — Latino culture trumped hate in 2017

Victor Landa December 13, 2017

If you’re a Latino in America — or Latinx, the gender-neutral the younger generation prefers — the national landscape felt particularly brutal this year, the stinging divisive words of President […]

Videos Show Texas Troopers Ripping Apart Immigrant Families Through Deportation Pipeline

Victor Landa December 15, 2017

IN TEXAS, STATE troopers have become frontline enforcers of federal immigration laws. In recent years, and especially since Donald Trump was elected president, the Texas Highway Patrol, part of the state’s […]

How ‘One Day at a Time’s Diverse Writers Room Creates Authentic Latino Narratives

Victor Landa January 26, 2018

Much like the loving Alvarez family they created, the writers of One Day at a Time work closely together, don’t always agree but love each other anyway. Their collective family experiences helped […]