Chicago immigrants urged to participate in census

February 6, 2010 6:51:40 PM PST
A census campaign kicked off Saturday aimed at encouraging immigrant households in Chicago to be counted.The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights introduced its "New Americans Count" initiative Saturday on the city's Southwest Side.

The organization wants to reach 66,000 immigrant households in the city and suburbs to make sure they are represented in this year's census.

Billions of federal dollars get reimbursed to states based on the census count.

"Everyone counts, everyone needs to be counted because our destiny is common, and only when all of us are guaranteed basic, fundamental rights can all of us achieve our full human potential," said Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a Cook Co. commissioner nominee.

Census Bureau representatives were on hand at the event Saturday, and volunteers went door-to-door in the Pilsen neighborhood encouraging immigrants to be counted.