Saturday, May 18, 2024

Texas state leaders ask governor to join other states in suing the government over census question

Latino advocates and lawmakers called on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to reject the proposed census citizenship question and join other states in suing the federal government.

“Texas has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country and Texas stands to lose big,” Rep. Cesar Blanco, D-El Paso, said at a news conference on Wednesday, “If Texas is undercounted, the bottom line is Texas loses. Our businesses lose, our communities lose, our families lose.”

For Blanco the problem isn’t partisan, it’s policy. The census, conducted once every 10 years, is supposed to count everyone who lives in the U.S. for purposes such as allocating congressional seats and distributing federal funds.

Texas received $43 billion from federal funds in 2015 based on census-guided data and stands to lose up to three congressional seats if the state’s population isn’t accurately counted. North Texas has the country’s fourth -largest unauthorized immigrant population behind the New York, Los Angeles and Houston metropolitan areas.

Abbott, who returns today from a nine-day trade mission in India, has not commented on the proposed question and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seems unlikely to join California and other states that are suing the federal government for including this question.

While some senators praised the decision to add the question Tuesday, many immigrants living in the country are not willing give up without a fight. Jessica Azua of the Texas Organizing Project credits DACA for allowing her to remain in her San Antonio hometown.

“I am here to tell Trump he is not going to win,” she said. “I am not afraid of him or of his immigrant-hating supporters. My family and I will answer the census. We will not answer the citizenship question. I will urge everyone who can hear my voice to not answer the citizenship question.”