You are here
Don't Count on Abbott, Paxton, Cruz on Census Undercount
When it suited his personal politics, Greg Abbott bragged about waking up every day and suing Barrack Obama. Now that Texans face a real threat that could leave hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Texas residents out of the 2020 Census count costing our state billions of dollars over the next decade, Abbott sits doing nothing.
And, what about our criminally indicted Texas AG Ken Paxton and our forever self-absorbed Senator Ted Cruz? Predictably, Cruz and Paxton picked the wrong side and are cheering for a census process that clearly hurts Texans.
Sadly, it appears that Texans must rely on a lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General and at least 11 other states to win a court ruling forcing the Trump Administration to conduct a fair and accurate census that protects Texas interests.
Inaccurate Census = less money and representation for Texas
An accurate census count is no issue for Abbott, Cruz or anyone else to use for partisan purposes or to pit one Texan against another based on race. Virtually every experienced and credible source, including six former Census Bureau directors and the League of Women Voters, has confirmed that forcing people to declare their citizenship will result in fewer of them filling out census forms, resulting in a large undercount.
One in six Texans is an immigrant. According to the U.S. Census, billions of dollars in federal grants, payments, matching funds and other resources are determined by state population, meaning an undercount in Texas will result in less money and other federal resources for all Texans. A study cited by Think Progress found that a one percent undercount in Texas could cost our state $300 million in Medicaid reimbursement funds alone.
A large undercount could cost Texans representation in Congress too. Current estimates predict that Texas will gain at least 2 new congressional seats following the 2020 census. A large undercount in Texas could mean forfeiting what should be a new Texas seat to another state.
All Texans get hurt by Abbott, Paxton & Cruz politicizing a census undercount
The recent Texas Tribune headline was succinct and accurate: “Adding a citizenship question to the census could screw over Texas”.
Instead of acting to protect all Texans, Abbott, Cruz, Paxton and other divisive Republicans will try to make the census undercount about undocumented immigrants. To them, it’s another opportunity to stigmatize non-Anglo Texans, stoke anti-immigrant hostility and help mobilize their political base. Their cynical, irresponsible approach hurts ALL Texans.
Failing to count non-citizens living in Texas does not make them disappear. They will remain residents of our state, and Texas not only needs but deserves the federal resources an accurate population warrants. An inaccurate count of Texas immigrants means less money for transportation, education, law enforcement, healthcare and perhaps even one fewer member of Congress.
Abbott, Paxton and Cruz clearly don’t care that an inaccurate census count hurts every Texan, so no one should count on them to do their jobs and mount a Texas tough defense of our interests.