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DACA student helps undocumented families have a voice through the U.S. Census

Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 20:41:02-04

MAGIC VALLEY — With over 500,000 responses, Idaho is currently outperforming the national average response rate of the U.S. Census. The Crisis Hotline Idaho is working to make sure the Hispanic and Latino community are accounted for in this Census.

"Because of all of this, it's been nice to see that our Hispanic and Latin community reach out to us because they trust us," Tammy Davis, Executive Director of The Crisis Hotline Idaho, said.

For many undocumented people, filling out the Census may be confusing, and some may have never even heard of it. That was the case for one DACA student, Monica Carrillo.

"I had no idea what it was or what it even included. So I did the Census for my family, and I realized it was just the names, where we lived, ages, and that was it. It took about five minutes," Carillo said.

Carillo learned about the Census while working for the Crisis Hotline Idaho. After doing community outreach with them to get more families to fill out the Census, she says she realized how important it really is.

"I think it's kind of amazing, you know I've always wanted to vote and I can't so it's really disappointing, but having the census, being able to do something like that, it's kind of a step forward to everything that's happening right now," Carillo said.

The Crisis Hotline Idaho has helped over 400 families since April, not only with the Census but also with other support, including family care packages.

Davis believes getting more Hispanic and Latino families to fill out the Census will potentially help the disproportionate number of coronavirus cases among the Hispanic and Latino communities.

"If you look back in history, if they see an increase in a specific demographic, they research to understand why," Davis said.

Most of the families the hotline has served have expressed concern over their legal status, which is why some undocumented families don't consider filling out the Census.

"I feel like we never reach out into our community. I feel like we're always nervous, we don't know where to reach out, maybe and so definitely exercise this as a political right. This is something that you can do, even if you can't vote. This is something you can do," Carrillo said.

If you or someone you know needs support with filling out the Census, you can contact the Crisis Hotline Idaho.