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Census takers working to make sure El Paso’s immigrant population is counted in wake of citizenship question fears

census form
U.S. Census Bureau
A woman holds an envelope containing a Census 2020 form.

EL PASO, Texas -- The U.S. Census Bureau is leading efforts to make sure El Paso’s immigrant populations is properly counted in 2020 after worries a now-defunct citizenship question would scare people away from the survey.

The 2020 census is starting in March and is used to determine how much federal funds El Paso gets and how we’re represented in Austin and Washington D.C.

The Trump administration had pushed to get a citizenship question added but it led to worries that immigrants, no matter how they got here, would not fill it out. The question was challenged in court and defeated,

“There is no question about citizenship on the census,” said Oscar Arriaga, a worker with the US Census Bureau.

The Census is not used to target migrants and information is not shared with ICE or any other enforcers with Homeland Security, it’s just a way to learn how many people live in the country.
If anyone is still worried Arriaga said they just need to open their survey.

“When the form gets to them or if they decide to do it online there’s no question about citizenship,” Arriaga said.

No matter if you’re born here, got naturalized, or got into the US any other way there are teams working to find and make sure everyone counts.

“They are able to identify which are the lowest response rates and provide information to all the people, all the immigrants and people of El Paso to give them the importance of the census,” Arriaga said.

If you would like to help make sure everyone in El Paso is counted and become a census taker you can apply by following this link to the government website.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Julio-Cesar Chavez

Julio-Cesar Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter.


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