Leslie Berestein Rojas|Los Angeles county and city officials talked up the 2020 Census at a downtown L.A. rally on Monday, a year ahead of when the decennial count is set to take place. They’re trying to spread the word that an accurate count is critical because census data helps determine how many federal dollars go toward things like public health services and public schools.
A year ago, 87 Iranian refugees bound for the United States who’d been waiting in Austria since 2016 were stranded there indefinitely, after the U.S. denied their applications. They had been waiting to come to the U.S. through a program for religious minorities since before the January 2017 travel ban. Last month, following a court order, about a dozen of them were admitted into the country.
Until about a year ago, plans were moving forward to include a category in the 2020 census referred to as MENA, for "Middle Eastern or North African." It would have allowed a more accurate count of Americans of Arabic, Persian and other Middle Eastern or North African descent, who are now counted only as "white.