Please support the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s COVID-19 coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy — and many of the advertisers who support our work — to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at gazettenet.com because we feel our most critical mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate.

Thank you for your support of the Gazette.

Michael Moses, Publisher


Laurie Millman: Encouraging immigrants to fill out census

Published: 3/29/2020 8:18:13 AM

At Center for New Americans, we welcome immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. Many people ask which country most people are from. Our answer: Haiti, Venezuela, China, Thailand, Tibet, Ecuador, Cambodia, Portugal, Cape Verde, the DRC, India, Morocco, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Moldova, Eritrea.

Have you met our students? Some work in the restaurants which flavor our community. Some work on farms which grow our local produce. Some work in nail salons. Although they help power our local economy, our students are not always visible.

We organize Immigrant Voices: A Celebration of Arts at the Shea Theater every spring, and have planned an International Festival in Northampton this May, to highlight the many traditions that enrich our community. As memorable as these events are, they are no substitute for making immigrants visible statistically and therefore supported.

That is why Center for New Americans supports a complete count in the 2020 Census. We had planned “Census Clinics” to assist immigrants to complete the census. Now we will offer immigrants online assistance. In our English classes — now online — we teach what the census means to our communities in dollars from federally-funded services like MassHealth, transportation, schools and free English classes.

We remind students, who met Congressman Jim McGovern in our classrooms last year, how it would impact our voice if we were to lose representation. We conducted outreach to the many people whom we have helped to naturalize, asking them to complete the census and urge others to do so.

We understand that in an era when immigrants are targeted nationally, some immigrants may be reticent to participate. The Constitution mandates a firewall between the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies, but we respect this concern. We also recognize the new challenges posed by the current pandemic, which mandates reduced contact, and shifts our focus to immediate concerns.

Nevertheless, the 2020 Census will impact the support services we need now for the next 10 years. We encourage everyone who does not have a compelling reason to remain invisible to stand and be counted. To learn more, please visit our website at www.cnam.org.

Laurie Millman

Northampton

The writer is executive director at the Center for New Americans.



Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy