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Adding Question of Citizenship to Census Is Another Attack on Texas Immigrants and Will Drive Them Further Into the Shadows

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Austin, TX – The U.S. Department of Commerce announced yesterday that the 2020 U.S. Census will include a question on citizenship, and combined with the implementation of the anti-immigrant law SB4, could drive immigrants in Texas further into the shadows and further from being counted in their community.

As Alexa Ura and Chris Essig reported in the Texas Tribune, “An accurate census is critical to the state. It is used to determine how many representatives Texas is entitled to elect to Congress. And the Texas Legislature and local governments rely on the data to redraw corresponding political boundaries.”

They continued: “The repercussions of an immigrant undercount in Texas could go as far as curtailing the state’s projected gain of three congressional seats in Congress. Texas Hispanics — who make up a majority of the state’s immigrant population — were behind 65 percent of the population growth that helped Texas gain four seats after the 2010 Census.”

Mario Carrillo, Director of America’s Voice Texas, said:

This proposal by the Trump administration will have a disproportionately negative impact on Texas. Our state is home to more than five million immigrants, and combining a question on citizenship in the Census with the terrorizing and discriminatory law, SB4, will only strike more fear into immigrant communities throughout the state and prevent them from being counted. As Texas’ demography continues to be further shaped by growth in communities of color and immigrants, a true count of everyone in the state remains as important as ever, to ensure true representation in Congress. To ask for one’s citizenship, while also fearing that any interaction with a law enforcement official could lead to deportation, will mean that many immigrants will refuse to fill out the census, and will not be counted. This is just this administration’s latest attack on immigrants, but we will continue to work with local communities throughout Texas to ensure that all of their residents feel safe and fully represented.