Mission stands against Census citizenship question

MISSION — In agreement with Hidalgo County, the city council here voted to publicly oppose a decision by the federal government to place a citizenship question in the 2020 U.S. Census.

The city council unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the citizenship question due to the concern that it would lead to an undercount of the population.

“It’s felt that it would deter residents from responding and negatively affect our congressional, state and local representation,” City Secretary Anna Carrillo told the council, “as well as funding for programs and infrastructure.”

The city council’s vote to publicly oppose the question comes at the urging of Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia who last week, along with the rest of the Hidalgo County Commissioners, voted to join a multi-state lawsuit to block the federal government from including the question.

“Hidalgo County has historically faced undercounts and other challenges during the Census process and made great strides to overcome those challenges with the 2020 Census Committee,” the city’s resolution states. “A greater challenge has now been imposed by adding a citizenship question to the Census Questionnaire.”

The resolution goes on to call the question costly, unnecessary and not beneficial to the Census process.

“We should oppose it because we’re going to lose money,” said Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas, just before the vote, adding that undercounting would cause the city to lose out on funding for schools and through the Community Development Block Grant program.

The council members quickly moved to approve the resolution.