Baltazar De Anda Santana moved from Guadalajara, Mexico to the U.S. in 2000, making his way to Madison in 2008. He quickly made a mark on his new community, founding, in 2010, the Latino Academy of Workforce Development, which helps hundreds of Latinx students every year obtain their GEDs and train for jobs. That same year, the U.S. government was conducting its census count. Santana did not fill out the survey.
“I didn’t have documents, so I didn’t want to take any chances in letting the government know where I was,” says Santana. He also didn’t have a clue about the relevance of the census.
“I was never told about its importance or how it benefited me,” he says. “When you are emigrating from Mexico, your first priority is to get a job and make money so you can find a place in this country for yourself..."