By Holley Nees - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Ino Reyes and his family lived in East Texas for more than 20 years before they were all counted.
"One of the segments of the population that gets under-counted is the Hispanic community," Reyes said. "So, we have to do our best effort to take the fear out of filling out the questionnaire."
Last census, only 14 percent of those counted in Angelina County were Hispanic. In Lufkin, that number was a little more than 17 percent. But, some say not all Hispanics were counted. Something the census bureau is trying to change this year.
"There are identified areas within the county that are predominately Hispanic-speaking and those forms will be automatically mailed bilingually," said Eduardo Guity of the U.S. Census Bureau.
"But they should not be afraid of the Census because you know, it's just a number for the government," Reyes said. "It's not a name and address and face with it."
Reyes says his best estimate is that 30 percent of Angelina County is Hispanic, but he's hoping the census can give them a more accurate count so the community can get the resources they need.
"If you need more bilingual teachers, you know, the government will only know that if they know how many people speak Spanish in that particular area," Reyes said.
Not to mention, WIC, C.H.I.P. and Medicaid are all impacted by census numbers.
"Based on Title 13 of the U.S. Code Census information is kept confidential," Guity said. "It is not shared with INS, immigration, social security, nobody."
Reyes hopes the Hispanic community takes ten minutes to appear in the snapshot of Angelina County.