Hidalgo County commissioners issued a proclamation opposing the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 census. Hidalgo is the state’s 7th most populous county and according to county judge Ramon Garcia, it is prone to losing tens of millions of dollars if the immigrant community is not counted accurately. According to Judge Garcia, Hidalgo loses about 15 thousand 700 dollars for every person that is not counted. That means 157 million dollars over the span of a decade.
“It will have the effect of discouraging people from answering and even participating with other questions on the census.”
Hidalgo County is awarded state and federal funds based on the total population. Funds are then applied to schools, insurance like chip and Medicaid, transportation and housing systems among other areas of use. Texas’ government supports the integration of the citizenship question. According to Senator Ted Cruz, adding the question is necessary.
“From a public policy perspective that matters, understanding how many people are here illegally is important to make policy decisions and so I think it was a common sense decision to ask people.”
Hidalgo county already faces other issues in getting an accurate count including the inability to reach colonias. In 2010, Hidalgo was undercounted by 80 to 100 thousand people according to Garcia. Commissioners are currently considering joining other states and cities in a lawsuit against the federal government.