Several cities in Hidalgo County unanimously oppose the citizenship question on the 2020 census, because it could affect the population count in the area.
Mcallen city Mayor Jim Darling is one of the few who adopted a resolution opposing the question being added to the survey. Other cities opposed are Mission and Hidalgo.
Darling says he does not understand the purpose of the federal government adding this to the census. However, he adds that the community should not fear to answer the questions. The funds the government provides depend on how many people answer.
“You can argue the humanitarian side and surely a lot of people are doing that but also look at the monetary side and that’s a significant burden that we’re being placed that it’s not gonna get compensated with no fault of our own and for a purpose that I can’t understand.”
Hidalgo county historically faced undercounts and other challenges during the census process. Antonio Martinez, an immigration attorney says adding this question creates a challenge because most of the local population live in fear of deportation.
“I think without any guidance from our civic leaders, people might make a mistake and not answer or I think an extreme error would be that they say they are us citizens when they’re not.”
It will be determined on May 8th if the question will be added to the 2020 census.