Courtesy Photo / CHIRLA

Young volunteers with the “Wise Up!” Summer Internship Program for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) organization are outreaching in various areas of Los Angeles to encourage participation in the upcoming 2020 Census.  

They’re attempting to ease fear and reassure residents to provide information about their households, regardless of their immigration status. 

Walking in pairs with friendly smiles, they handed out information to anyone who seemed interested in taking it, which sometimes started a conversation about why next year’s census is so important.  

By fanning out young people who can communicate in Spanish, it appeared much less intimidating than anticipating a knock on the door from a census taker down the road.  

President Trump’s attempts to put a citizenship question on the census, along with his strongly worded disdain for immigrants entering the United States from the southern border, has made Latino immigrants understandably nervous. 

CHIRLA and other immigrant rights organizations are on the front lines to convince people that they should complete the census survey regardless of their immigration status. One person they approached said he believed, “we need the census. It is even more important than voting for a President, who does anything he wants, this is the one that takes care of us. 

“We want to hear everyone’s voice so that our community gets proper funding,” said 16-year-old Gabby.”