It's estimated 400,000 people live like Anabeli in colonias along the southern U.S. border. But the exact number is difficult to discern. Many residents, in the United States illegally, fear being deported if they participate in the census.
"If the president asked me for your Census form, I can say, 'No, you can't get it,' " Robert Groves, the 2010 Census director, told residents.
Groves recently toured hard-hit communities to try to ease those concerns, telling residents that participating in the census could lead to better communities with paved roads, more electricity and improved schools. An estimated $400 billion will be dispersed around the country based on census results.
"The benefits of participating in the census are quite large," said Groves. "If you get counted, you get your fair share of that money."
The people who live in San Carlos are on the fringe. Colonia experts say most make less than $10,000 a year and are constantly searching for day work. Anabeli's mother sells plates of food in the neighborhood. The young girl doesn't hear much from her father, who lives in Mexico.
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Census chief works to calm deportation fears - CNN.com