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Activity Number: 159 - What Happens When the U.S. Population Is Undercounted in the Decennial Census?
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 4, 2020 : 10:00 AM to 11:50 AM
Sponsor: Committee of Representatives to AAAS
Abstract #312361
Title: How Are Invisible Communities of Immigrants in the United States Counted? What Happens If They’re Undercounted?
Author(s): Nadia Flores-Yeffal*
Companies: Texas Tech University
Keywords: Unauthorized Immigrants; Census Undercount; Invisibility; Migration-Trust Networks; Mexican and Central American Immigrants; Vulnerability

In this paper, I first identify the reasons why undocumented immigrants don’t have legal documentation. Then I describe the current methods that exist to count the current unauthorized immigrant population in the United States which is estimated to be over 11 million. I then analyze the data I have collected on the topic of Migration-Trust Networks (the social networks of undocumented immigrants) and the existing literature on undocumented immigration to identify the cultural, social and economic circumstances that would not allow them to be counted in the 2020 Census. So far, the findings suggest that the current methods to estimate this population still don't lead to exact estimates given that undocumented immigrants live in mixed-status families and in segregated communities due to their membership in Migration-Trust Networks. In the end, I conclude that the potential for a large census undercount of the undocumented immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members can end up hurting the number of seats in Congress, but also can end up depriving of amenities and resources not just the undocumented immigrants, but also all American now living in the United States.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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