Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan today commended the U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling blocking the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
“Today is a victory for Harris County and indeed all the people of the United States,” said County Attorney Ryan. “With the current climate of fear in our immigrant population, many would have chosen not to participate in the Census rather than answer a citizenship question.”
The Supreme Court found Thursday that the Commerce Department did not give an adequate reason for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, blocking the question for at least the time being.
Ryan believes that a citizenship question would have resulted in a significant undercount in Harris County and the region. He filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Harris County along with Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George and the City of Marfa, asking the Court to disallow the question.
The brief states that the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census would cause an undercount of each jurisdiction’s significant foreign-born population resulting in disproportionately low representation at the local, state, and federal levels, along with corrupt data inadequate for effective governance. An undercount will also hurt the amount of federal dollars coming to these communities in programs based on population.