Opinion: Census Data Won’t Be Used Against You: A Call for Refugees and Immigrant Families to Participate

Photo courtesy of NASA/GSFC.

The goal of the census survey, administered by U.S. Census Bureau, is designed to make certain that everyone living in America is represented as part of our democracy, whether native-born, an immigrant or a refugee.

It’s time to exercise your power as a Black person in America.
Every household will receive instructions in the mail on how to complete your census questionnaire in March of 2020. Millions of dollars in public funding depend on the participation of the people living in this country.

You will not be asked whether you are a citizen of the United States on the census. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that option out in June of 2019. All of your information will be confidential. Federal agencies like the FBI, HHS, IRS or immigration services cannot access census data.

When you respond to the survey, the data collected will help your community secure money for federally funded programs like Medicaid, food stamps, Head Start, school lunch programs, Section 8 housing vouchers, programs for seniors and disabled veterans, and unemployment benefits.

Following the 2010 census, more than 300 federally-funded programs relied on census data to determine where and how to distribute resources.
We, at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, are asking that members of the collective American journey, whether immigrant, refugee or native-born, take 10 minutes of their free time to complete the U.S. census for themselves and family members. Everyone living in the residence should be accounted for.

BAJI is a part of a group of more than 30 grassroots organizations, called My Black Counts — headquartered in California, which have bonded together and are calling on communities of color to participate in the 2020 census survey.

My Black Counts is a new hub of politically-conscious and community-forward organizers and activists working to celebrate the unique individuality of the Black experience in America.

BAJI strives to fight for immigrant policies and to uplift the causes of economic justice and social justice. We need to know where you are and how many family members we should be fighting for. The census helps them do that.

Whether permanent or temporary, every resident living in an American home on April 1, 2020, should be counted in next year’s survey.

Follow @MyBlackCounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates, or sign-up to get involved on our website: https://myblackcounts.org/

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