NY ‘dodged bullet’ in 2020 Census: Immigration group

Immigration advocate Murad Awawdeh speaks during a news conference to address the incoming travel ban to the U.S., at John F. Kennedy airport in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 29, 2017.
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for more than 200 groups in New York State, said on Friday that the state “dodged a bullet” in the 2020 Census.

“If not for the hard work of community-based organizations like ours, the NY Counts Coalition members, and census workers across the state, New York would have lost more than one Congressional seat,” Murad Awawdeh, NYIC’s executive director,” told Caribbean Life.

“As a result of this concerted effort, New York has a better picture of who its residents are and can make plans to serve them better,” he added. “But now, we must build on this victory and ensure that immigrant New Yorkers receive the fair representation and political power their numbers warrant.”

Last Thursday, the US Census Bureau released the state-by-state results for the 2020 Census.

The numbers revealed a more diverse state and one where the state’s population grew by more than 4 percent over the past decade, despite the count taking place during a pandemic and the Trump administration’s concerted effort to exclude immigrant New Yorkers from the census.

“Census watchers were thankful that NYS (New York State) only lost one Congressional seat in the 2020 Census, as NYS has lost two or more seats every Census since 1950,” Awawdeh said.

“Citing the massive growth in New York City’s Asian population, immigrant rights advocates immediately demanded that any redistricting map provide fair representation to these and all communities,” he added.

Meantime, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. was ecstatic about the borough’s population growth.

The 2020 Census show Queens’ population rose to 2,405,464, a 7.8 percent increase over the 2010 Census.

“The large jump in our borough’s population underscores what we in Queens have known for a long time; that Queens truly is a fantastic place to live and raise a family,” Richards said. “My heartfelt appreciation goes to all of the 2.4 million people who make Queens their home, including the more than one million people who have come here from across the globe to build new lives in ‘The World’s Borough.’

“I also deeply thank everyone who, in spite of the many challenges posed by the COIVD-19 pandemic, worked tirelessly with the Queens Borough President’s Office to ensure Queens was accurately counted in the 2020 Census,” he added.

“From the dedicated personnel at the US Census Bureau to our partners in local and state government, and the many volunteers who joined us in an extensive community outreach effort, we never gave up on our goal to count every Queens resident,” Richards underscored.

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