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For Immediate Release

Title: Historic Caribbean Census Bill Introduced In U.S. Congress


CaribPR Newswire, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 24, 2009: A historic bill that calls for Caribbean nationals to have their own origins category on the U.S. Census form was on Thursday introduced by Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke of New York’s 11 th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Clarke bill calls for all questionnaires `used in the taking of any decennial census of the U.S. population, to include a checkbox or other similar option so that respondents may indicate Caribbean extraction or descent.`
The bill was lobbied for by Carib ID founder, Felicia Persaud. The movement`s goals are specific: to get Caribbean nationals accurately counted and their own origins Census category on all census forms.
`In conducting the 2010 decennial census and every decennial census thereafter, the Secretary of Commerce shall include, in any questionnaire distributed or otherwise used for the purpose of determining the total population by states, a checkbox or other similar option by which respondents may indicate Caribbean extraction or descent,` states the bill.
Congresswoman Clarke said, as a daughter of Caribbean immigrants herself, she is especially `proud of the measure and sees `it as a great accomplishment.`
`We introduced a bill which would draw attention to the 2010 census to help get the message out and help ensure the hard to count population are reached,` the congresswoman told CaribWorldNews Thursday. `It would push to provide an origins check box to allow Caribbeans and those with ancestry to check that category. We examined the form and found this to be lacking. Being specific on the Census form will allow the federal government to be able to allocate resource to communities of Caribbean nationals and their descendants.`
 
The congresswoman, who last weekend was part of a group of Congressional members invited to accompany President Barack Obama on his first trip to the Caribbean and Mexico since he took the Oath of Office Congress to Trinidad and Tobago for the 5 th Summit of the Americas from April 17