Trumpism and its Discontents Latinx Politics and the Census in the Trump Era

G. Cristina Mora

For Latinx individuals working within civil rights organizations, the 2020 census promised to be the most complete enumeration of their community to date. The count would mark fifty years since community stakeholders, from Latinx politicians to academics to Spanish-language media, had worked together to ensure that Latinx people were fully counted. Groups like UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Univision Media Corporation, the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and many others had worked with the US Census Bureau for decades to help develop the agency’s messaging and enumeration plans within Latinx communities. This effort was necessary because Latinx individuals are hard to count. Indeed, farmworkers, immigrants, and the poor have a higher probability of being missed by census efforts, and over time this factor has negatively affected the Latinx count. To improve this situation, community groups have worked closely with the Census Bureau, even committing their own resources to independently reach out and communicate to Latinx individuals the importance of being counted. Gradually, these collaborative efforts have paid off as the Latinx undercount estimate has shrunk from about 5.5 percent in 1980 to 1.5 percent in 2010.