May 25, 2010

WELL, AZ DOES DESERVE TO BE UNDERREPRESENTED AND UNDERFUNDED (via Brandon Heathcotte):

Arizona immigration law fallout may hurt census (Haya El Nasser, May. 25, 2010, USA Today)

Whatever its future, the law could not have come at a worse time for the 2010 census. Many civic groups fear the law will discourage cooperation, jeopardizing the additional federal dollars and rising clout that can come with an increasing population.

The once-a-decade government count of every person in the United States began in March with a giant mailing-out. Seventy-two percent of U.S. households responded by mail - 67 percent in Arizona and 64 percent in Santa Cruz County. Arizona had below-average participation in the past two censuses as well. Despite concerns that Hispanics would ignore the census in large numbers this time, there were early signs that didn't happen during the mail-in phase.

Since May 1, eight days after the immigration law was signed into law, 635,000 Census Bureau workers nationwide started going door to door to every home that did not send back the forms. They will return up to six times until they get answers to the 10 questions on the form.

In Arizona, some responses may be difficult to come by.

"I've talked to friends and people in the community, and they're saying - whatever they think of the law, wherever they stand on the issue - 'I'm not going to open the door to anyone right now,' " said Tucson City Council member Regina Romero, who represents Ward 1's predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods.

"People are scared, they're frightened," said Laura Cummings, a Census employee who works with local groups to build community support. "We really don't know what the effect will be."

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 25, 2010 2:08 PM
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