With all the health and economic messages we’ve been receiving the past couple of months, its easy to overlook another important message from our government: Census Day Was April 1, 2020.
The current pandemic demonstrates how important the census is. Census data is used to allocate critical federal funding for hospitals, schools, roads, services and other vital community needs for the next 10 years. Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights Census Campaign Director Maria Fitzsimmons has been campaigning for undocumented Chicago residents to complete their Census forms, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot emphasized the census was “safe to fill out the census for everyone:”
“It’s confidential, it’s secure and we need it…Everyone in the city can and should take the census, even if you are undocumented — you count.”
Chicago immigration lawyer Mario Godoy says an accurate population count is important to protect everyone’s rights and make sure Illinois and Chicago get the federal money and services the community needs:
Undocumented residents often don’t trust our government. As an immigration lawyer I want to tell my clients to trust our legal process, and they are legally required to answer Census questions. This pandemic demonstrates how important it is that our communities have the health care we need.
Note: The 2020 Census form does not ask about citizenship. The Census does not ask whether non-citizens are legally in the country, and the Census Bureau is required by law to keep responses confidential.
It’s Not Too Late – It Only Takes 10 Minutes
For the first time, in 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau is accepting responses online – it only takes about 10 minutes! Every household has been sent a mailing, but 80% of households were invited to complete the census form online, rather than fill out and send back to the government. Visit 2020census.gov to learn more about the 2020 Census – how to respond, and why it matters.
• Illinois Lost $122M in Health Funding in the Last Census
The United States Census Bureau says 16% of Illinoisans are hard to count, and estimates that Illinois residents were undercounted by 59,800 in 2010 when only 70% of the Illinois population responded.
• Every Person in Every Household Counts
Every Illinois resident not counted in the 2020 census will cost Illinois between $1,400 and $1,800 per year over 10 years. Missing just 1% of the population would cost Illinois roughly $1.2 billion over 10 years.
• The Census Determines Number of Congressional Seats
Illinois is projected to lose one downstate congressional seat due to population loss. An undercount in 2020 could result in losing even more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The attorneys at Godoy Law Office work with you to evaluate your immigration status and guide you in your journey to becoming a US citizen. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.