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Census Meets T.V. Melodrama

In a piece I wrote last month about the 2010 Census, I described concern among some in the Hispanic community that data gathered by the Census Bureau could be used to round up illegal immigrants, as well as calls from Hispanic leaders to boycott the count until the Obama administration commits to immigration reform. If, for either reason, people don't fill out the Census forms delivered to their homes, the nation's fastest-growing minority could be undercounted. So, as the NYT reports today, the Census Bureau is getting creative in its outreach to the Hispanic community: It has struck an agreement with the popular telenovela "Más Sabe el Diablo" ("The Devil Knows Best") to make one of its characters a Census recruiter. Indeed, amid the crime, passion, and scandal typical of “Diablo” episodes, Telemundo Studios has crafted a Census worker position for Perla Beltrán, played by actress Michelle Vargas, to show that the count is safe. “We’re trying to fight the fear,” one Telemundo exec tells the NYT. Here’s hoping that it helps.