Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis Wednesday joined educators and immigrant advocates to encourage everyone to respond to the 2020 Census despite the coronavirus pandemic and highlight resources available to DACA recipients as the U.S. Supreme Court mulls over the program’s fate.
Solis said at the livestreamed news conference Los Angeles County is the most difficult county in the country to enumerate, and regarding it’s previous 57.2% response rate, she said, “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau pushed the response deadline to Oct. 31.
The results of the national count, taken every decade, are used to redraw voting districts, redistribute congressional seats and to allocate an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding among the states.
Rigo Reyes, the acting executive director of the county’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said Los Angeles County is the nation’s most populous county, with more than 10 million people. He said 3.5 million of those residents are immigrants.
Reyes pleaded for a fair count of everyone, saying the process is “easy, safe and fast,” that it “takes less than 10 minutes,” and can be done on the phone or online.
In September 2017, President Donald Trump ordered an end to DACA. Lawsuits from multiple states, including California, challenged the legality of the decision to end the program.
After hearing arguments last fall, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision this month. If the justices rule to terminate DACA, thousands of immigrant youth may be subject to deportation.
Dan Sharp, chief of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, said that whatever the Supreme Court’s decision, the majority of DACA students will not be subject to deportation, and there are legal resources available to them.
Sharp encouraged anyone with questions to call the Office of Immigrant Affairs at 800-593-8222 to speak free of charge with an immigration lawyer.
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