On Start of 2010 Census – CLINIC Urges Full Participation
This year, the U.S. Census has a BIG job. Starting January 25, it’s counting EVERYONE that lives in the United States. This only happens once every 10 years and it’s a big deal.
In the lead up to the Census, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and CLINIC have been urging immigrants – documented or undocumented- to participate and complete the Census materials. Why? CLINIC Advocacy Attorney Karen Herrling notes the point succinctly in her article Census 2010:
“Census data directly impacts communities in three critical ways: political representation, government funding, and civil rights. Additionally, governments, businesses, and nonprofits (like the Catholic Church, CLINIC and Catholic Charities Programs) rely on Census data to plan for growth and development of their programs and to assess the needs of the communities they serve.”
There are those who would argue that undocumented immigrants should not be included in the count because they are not legal residents or citizens. However, this argument fails to recognize that immigrants are already integral members of our communities that pay taxes and patronize local businesses. The Census ensures that all individuals that live in the United States are recognized. The message of the Census that EVERYONE matters is a universal message that the Church embraces and promotes. The bishops support participation in the Census and have worked with the Census Bureau to ensure the process is simple and accessible for all, especially those in low-income areas.
As the Census kicks off, the Bureau promises that the process is simple. Completing the form will only take 10 minutes, not a lot of time for a process that could affect the future of your community. So, complete and return the Census form that comes in the mail or welcome the Census volunteer that may come to your door. BE COUNTED!