Latinos and the U.S. Census

A majority of Latino leaders say this is the most important census for Latinos to date. However some are encouraging Latinos to pass on their participation. The act of not responding to the constitutional questionnaire will hinder Latino progress for the next 10 years.

More than $400 billion each year is distributed to states and communities from the federal government, based in part on census data. Census information also affects the numbers of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives.

With such importance behind the collection of census data, it is incredible to believe that a radical group of Latino leaders is playing dangerous politics that will directly have a negative affect on present and future Latino services.

Over the last year, Reverend Miguel Rivera has directed a national campaign to boycott the 2010 Census in the absence of immigration reform. Rev. Rivera has been quoted as saying, “We demand that the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama take action to legalize our undocumented brothers, so that they may participate in the census without fear.”

The reverend is playing into a deep-set fear of many undocumented immigrants. It’s important for everyone to know that Census bureau personnel cannot share individuals’ answers with anyone, including other government agencies. Revealing census participants’ personal information is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

The 2010 Census does NOT ask about immigration status or citizenship and will never require a Social Security number.

The estimated 48 million Latinos living in the U.S. mainland and the four million living in Puerto Rico play an important role in depicting the future of America. Every Latino must be counted to ensure all required services are provided to communities that need them most.

Latinos really can’t move forward until we mail the census forms back. For more information visit

For more on the importance of the U.S. Census for Latino communities you can read the March political column of


About Phil Velez

writer, blogger, & communication professional
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