Citizenship question on the 2020 Census could keep Hispanics away, hurt states’ federal dollars

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — The controversy over immigration and the Census may have already done damage to the accuracy of the 2020 Census. 

Some lawmakers fear that the high-profile court battle over a question about U.S. citizenship on the Census forms may scare immigrants, especially Hispanics, away from participating in the once a decade populations tally. 

The data collected by the Census determines how many seats each state gets in Congress. Congress sets aside 1.5 trillion dollars every decade for federal programs like Medicaid and infrastructure — based on population.

“Texas has a higher percentage of Hispanics than other states and a higher percentage of non-citizens and they tend to not participate in the Census,” said Andrew Reamer, research professor at George Washington University. “We need them counted so that we get federal dollars that we deserve.”

Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett says the Trump Administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to this year’s Census has frightened immigrant families — even though the question was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“All of that interplays to give people reason not to open your door if they’ve ever had anyone in their family that is not properly documented,” said Doggett.

Doggett says all information collected by the Census Bureau is kept confidential.

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