In Final Weeks of 2020 Census, Immigrant Advocates Debunk Myths to Get out the Count

New York, NY-In the final weeks before the 2020 Census ends, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and NY Counts 2020 are working with US Census Bureau officials, NYC Census Office officials, elected officials, and immigrant rights advocates to get out the count. As of September 8, 58.8 percent of households in New York City have filled out the census and 61.9 percent of households across New York State. Both the city and state are trailing the national self-response rate of 65.5 percent

Before and during the 2020 Census, the Trump administration has stoked fear in immigrant communities - first by attempting to put a citizenship question on the Census, and now by seeking to unconstitutionally block undocumented individuals from being counted to create Congressional districts. While the NYIC and partners are suing the Trump administration for its most recent attack on immigrant communities, fear of participation in the Census remains high. Additionally, the White House announced it would cut short critical door-knocking efforts for the 2020 Census.  As of today, Bureau workers are expected to cease conducting in-person interviews for the census on September 30, 2020

“We’re in crunch time, and New York’s future depends on all New Yorkers—and all immigrants—filling out the Census. We cannot let the Trump administration undermine it!  We have the enormous task of rebuilding our state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic—New Yorkers simply cannot afford an undercount, nor can we allow Trump to scare us into being undercounted,” said Steve Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition. “The 2020 Census determines our future—the allocation of billions of federal dollars for New York’s schools, roads, hospitals, our representation in Congress, and more for the next decade.  We fought Trump’s ridiculous ‘citizenship question’ and are fighting his latest attempt to exclude undocumented folks from determining congressional representation. In these final weeks, we plan on doing everything we can to assure immigrant communities that they can and must participate in the Census safely as required by law.” 

"It’s important to remember that the 2020 Census is safe, easy, & important. Census data is critical for public services like healthcare clinics, emergency response preparedness and education programs, said "Jeff T. Behler, Regional Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. "The 2020 Census is your census – the future of your community depends on you and your community’s responses. Encourage response now and lead your community to self-respond at"

Four Fast Facts About the 2020 Census

  1. By law, the U.S. government is constitutionally required to count the number of people living in the United States every 10 years. The Census is critically important in determining how billions of dollars of federal dollars are allocated to states for local schools, hospitals, libraries, businesses, and more, as well as for ensuring New York’s representation in Congress. All New Yorkers from all backgrounds, regardless of immigration status, must be counted—this includes children, seniors, people who are homeless or undocumented, and people of all nationalities.
  2. The 2020 Census will end on September 30. You can respond online to be counted here: Starting in August, Census door-knockers began conducting interviews of New York households that did not self-respond. If someone knocks on your door and says that they are a Census worker, ask to see their ID, and know that you are safe to share information about your household size, race, address and the names of those residing with you with them for the purposes of the 2020 Census. There is no reason they should require your social security number or any other similar identifying information. Sample questions from the 2020 Census are here:
  3. The Census is safe, secure and confidential. No individual’s data can be shared with any other government agencies by law—and that includes no data sharing is allowed with the Department of Homeland Security. 
  4. There is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The New York Immigration Coalition and allies fought the Trump administration all the way to the Supreme Court to block the blatant attempt to politicize the Census with a citizenship question.