Friday, April 5, 2019

Trump Administration Gets Strike Three on Proposed Citizenship Question for 2020 Census

Albuquerque, N.M.– Today, a federal judge from Maryland issued an order blocking the proposed “citizenship question” for the upcoming 2020 Census. This marks the third ruling against the question after federal judges in New York and California also stopped the government from using the question.

Today’s ruling comes as the Supreme Court is set to take up the question April 23. 

The 2020 Census will determine how more than $800 billion in federal funding is allocated each year. The census is critical for figuring out what our communities need to be healthier, safer and more successful. We have to make sure everyone is counted.

In 2016, N.M. received $7.8 billion in federal dollars based on census data: 

  • $4.3 billion in Medicaid
  • $380 million in Highway Planning & Construction
  • $44.8 million for the School Lunch Program. 

More information about funding derived from census data can be found here.

The politically driven citizenship question compromises the Census Bureau’s constitutional responsibility to conduct a fair and accurate count of every person living in the United States,” said Oriana Sandoval, CEO for the Center for Civic Policy. The consensus is clear, the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census is unlawful and the Supreme Court should uphold the lower court rulings to remove the question”.

“Communities miss out on political power and needed funding if everyone is not counted. That’s why groups are elevating the importance of the 2020 Census,” said Anni Leming, Civic Engagement Coordinator of New Mexico Asian Family Center “Civil rights groups and health care providers, immigrant rights advocates and organizations that fight for young kids, groups that represent the black community and groups that represent AAPI communities are all committed to ensuring that everyone is counted”.

“NM CAFé applauds the federal court’s decision to block the administration’s plan to add a citizen question to Census 2020,” said Angelica Rubio, executive director for NM CAFé. “Our communities need access to better healthcare, access to education, affordable housing, and transportation—all of which can be addressed through accurate counts of every person through our census. By using scare tactics to minimize a few, benefits no one.”

A question about U.S. citizenship status has not been asked of all households by the Census Bureau in close to 70 years. Inclusion of this question in the 2020 census would have disastrous consequences for New Mexico’s economy, as New Mexico would stand to lose billions in federal aid that are vital to fund essential public services like Medicaid, SNAP, and CHIP.