March 27, 2018
Trump Census Citizenship Question Could Cost Texas Billions of Dollars
President Donald Trump won Republican-friendly Texas by nine points in 2016, securing his path to the White House and the GOP's hold over Washington. But now this ruby red state, with its mélange of arid landscapes, oversized steaks and cosmopolitan cities brimming with people from around the world, could lose representation in Congress and billions of federal dollars because of a Trump administration decision to add a question about citizenship status to the U.S. census in 2020.
The change, instated by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Monday night, would bring back a question last seen in the 1950s. Ross claims the citizenship question will be used to increase data and prevent voter discrimination. But detractors argue the shift is intended to scare immigrants and prevent them from participating, and it's the voters in Texas, many of whom backed Trump, who could be among the hardest hit.
Once the new federal survey lands, Texas, a state that already exceeds the national average for low census response scores, could face new obstacles in accurately representing its population, a figure that determines Congressional representation and federal funding. A vocal group of bipartisan critics say that questions about citizenship would dissuade a large percentage of legal and undocumented Texas residents from answering the census, which is used to calculate the state's official population. There are nearly 5 million immigrants living in Texas, and more than half of them are undocumented or live with someone who is.