Friday, March 12, 2010

Beyond the Language Barrier in 2010

This post is contributed by Diana Lopez, senior at the University of Washington, double-majoring in Law, Society and Justice/Spanish.

The Census 2010 will soon be in the hands of every household in the United States, but will everyone know how to respond to it?

The Census Bureau is acknowledging that many languages are spoken within the U.S. and will be releasing its Census form in 5 different languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Russian. A recent article in La Raza del Noroeste highlights the measures that the Census Bureau has taken in the state of Washington to reach out to those who do not speak English. They have hired locals who speak various languages so that they can reach out to every community and explain to everyone the importance of the Census. There will also be community centers where people can seek out any help they might need to fill out their forms.

I’d have to agree that the language barrier is an important factor that must be overcome; however, I also think that it’s important to educate everyone that the Census Bureau is not allowed to share any information that is provided to it. I have had opportunities to ask locals if they plan to fill out the Census and many have said they don’t plan to. Pero, ¿por qué? They fear that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement will be notified of their undocumented status in the United States. Many immigrants will not be counted because of this simple fact, but it’s crucial that everyone gets counted because the more accurate the numbers, the more opportunities are given to the community.

1 comment:

  1. Taking the Census will definitely help the community because funding can be alotted for infrastructure spending and services. I can understand that immigrants are afraid of deportation. But non profits like help relieve the that fear.


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