A tradução deste artigo se encontra no final da versão em inglês
Another topic I will often write about in the first half of 2020, other than the driver’s license for undocumented immigrants in the state of Massachusetts — will be the Census 2020.
The U.S. Constitution requires that the Census is conducted every 10 years. The first Census happened in 1790, and at the time, only 3 million people were living in the U.S. This time around, the expectancy is that the number of people living in this country will be around 300 million people. The Census results are used to determine the number of seats each state will have in Congress, to delimit electoral districts, and to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be invested in communities each year. The purpose of the Census is to count all people living in the U.S., and our Island needs our help to make sure everyone in our community is counted. The number of people who participate in the Census will determine who much funding will be allocated to the Island for the next 10 years. The funding goes to schools, hospitals, Medicare, which are services that most Brazilian Islanders benefit from, and with a growing Brazilian population on the Island, every individual must make an effort to participate.
To participate in the Census, regardless of one’s immigration status, is a responsibility, and a way to participate in democracy. The data provided by the participant are confidential. Federal law protects each person answering the Census. The answers can only be used for statistical purposes, and cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. Title 13 was established to protect the Census data, and therefore, if you are concerned about answering the Census for fear that all of a sudden, ICE will come knocking on your door, you don’t need to be afraid of such a thing. The Census database is not connected to the police or Immigration. As an example, if the folks who are working for the Census leak any information, they are subject to a $250,000 fine or five years in prison. Again, there are regulations to prevent your data from being shared, and any immigrant apprehensive about participating truly has nothing to worry about.
The Census in the U.S. is nothing that Brazilians aren’t used to, as, in Brazil, there is the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which was created in 1936. The Census is also happening in Brazil, starting on August 1.
The 2020 Census questionnaire in the paper version will be distributed throughout the country, and it will be delivered in the mailbox, or it will be left at the entrance to each home. When you are filling out the Census, you have to count the people who live in the house or apartment, including babies. The Census must also include people who do not have a permanent home, if someone without a permanent home lives or is living at the residency on April 1, include that person in the Census as well. The Brazilian Consulate of Boston, through its Facebook page, has been reinforcing the importance for all Brazilian nationals of responding to the 2020 U.S. Census, and has published on its Facebook page a comprehensive guide in Portuguese, for anyone who would like to know more about it, at bit.ly/38iq2FZ, and the U.S. Census Bureau also created a fact sheet in Portuguese to guide Portuguese speakers: bit.ly/CensusinPortuguese.
In the next column, I will continue to tackle information regarding the Census, and I strongly encourage everyone to check the two links provided (which are in Portuguese), as they have tons of information on how to best proceed.
Portuguese Translation – Tradução em português