Monday, January 28, 2019

Trump’s Citizenship Question for 2020 Census Could Cost New Mexico Dearly

New Mexico’s Families and Children Deserve an Accurate Count

Albuquerque, N.M.– Over the weekend, the Trump administration lawyers urged the Supreme Court to review the 2020 census dispute on whether to allow or not their proposed citizenship question. 

If the Supreme Court allows the citizenship question to be used during the 2020 census, border states including N.M., as well as states with large immigrant populations, stand to lose billions in federal funding for the next ten years –in some cases leading to a loss of congressional seats. 

New Mexico has already experienced a loss of federal funding due to inaccurate counts in a decennial census. During the 2000 census, N.M. had a total population undercount of 1.94 percent, meaning the state lost billions annually for ten years until 2010. 

So far, the justices have already shown an interest in the case, as they issued orders to limit the scope of the trial in New York. The case is likely to be reviewed mid-February.

Oriana Sandoval, CEO for the Center for Civic Policy (CCP), said,

“The Trump administration’s decision to ask SCOTUS to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census is an egregious attempt to reduce participation by immigrants and hard-to-count communities in NM –putting $7.3 billion in federal aid at stake to maintain essential programs for our families’ wellbeing like: Section 8, Transportation, CHIP, SNAP, Early Ed and many others– as well as the possible loss of a congressional seat.

“It is abundantly clear that Congress must act and remove the cloud of uncertainty over the 2020 census while the cases make their way through the courts. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to act to protect a fair and accurate count. Meanwhile, the NM legislature must must now step in to ensure there is an accurate count of NM’s families and children by beefing up the support for the Census preparations that are already underway.  By taking immediate action, we can help to ensure every New Mexican family receives their fair share of representation and federal funding for vital public services for the next 10 years”.

For a more in-depth analysis of NM’s risk of an undercount during the 2020 Census and how the NM Legislature plays an important role in ensuring New Mexicans receive their fair share of federal funding click here.