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Latino Daily News

Sunday April 15, 2012

Immigrant Advocates Want Central American Origins to be Listed on 2020 Census

Immigrant Advocates Want Central American Origins to be Listed on 2020 Census

Photo: Central American Countries

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Immigrant-advocacy groups say Central American countries should be listed on the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire to more accurately determine the number of individuals with roots in that region.

“In late May of this year, we and other Central American activists will meet with Census officials to demand they add each of the Central American countries to the 2020 Census form,” Francisco Rivera, president of the National Central American Roundtable, told Efe.

“We have a grievance with those officials because long before the 2010 census we told them the Central American data would be estimates when it could be (determined) with a minimal margin of error if they printed a box on the form like what exists for those born in Puerto Rico or Mexico,” he said.

According to a Pew Hispanic Center study published this month, the majority of U.S. residents with roots in Spanish-speaking countries prefer to identify themselves by their family’s country of origin rather than as Hispanic or Latino.

The 2010 Census put the U.S. population at more than 308 million, 50.5 million, or 16.3 percent, of whom are Hispanic.

But Salvadoran Marvin Andrade, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s leadership development director, told Efe “the 2010 Census figures do not reflect the true number of U.S. Latinos, and much less so those who live in California.”

“I believe there was a bit of fear among our people; particularly those who come from countries with repressive governments don’t feel comfortable sharing information with the government,” he said.