Stand and be counted – or we can’t get government cash.
That’s the word from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, who said Monday that it’s safe for undocumented immigrants to fill out 2010 U.S. Census forms that will hit city residents’ mailboxes this week.
“Invisible people do not count in this country,” Cortes-Vazquez told reporters at a lower Manhattan news conference. “Invisible people do not have a voice.”
The city lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal and state funding over the past decade because only 55% of New York City residents mailed in 2000 Census forms, woefully short of the 67% national average.
Census figures help determine where government cash goes for hospitals, school services, public housing, social services, food stamps and other programs, and how many seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.