Jun. 27, 2019

Mayor's statement on U.S. Supreme Court decision blocking citizenship question on census

HOUSTON -  The following is Mayor Sylvester Turner's statement on today's Supreme Court ruling:

HOUSTON - The following is Mayor Sylvester Turner's statement on today's Supreme Court ruling:

"I am elated and thankful for the Supreme Court’s ruling against adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Adding the question to the census would have been detrimental to the city of Houston’s outreach efforts in hard-to-count populations, especially our immigrant communities -- already a daunting task given the current political climate.

"As the 4th largest and most ethnically diverse city in the country, a robust outreach campaign is imperative to the city of Houston and the state of Texas due to the significant financial impacts resulting from a census count.

"Even if a small percentage of the city’s and state’s foreign-born population fails to respond to the census questionnaire, Texas, which is estimated to have 1.65 million undocumented immigrants, stands to lose several billion dollars in federal funds every year starting 2021. Texas currently receives about $43 billion annually in federal funds tied to census-provided numbers. The previous census added four congressional seats to Texas and is projected to gain two more.

"The census count is an important tool that determines federal funding allocations for various vital government social services in our city, including Medicaid, the Texas Children's Health Plan and funding for housing and transportation projects, just to name a few. For each person not counted, the city of Houston will lose $15,780 (or $1,578 per person per year) for the decade. This translates into millions of dollars missed if thousands of residents are not accurately counted.

"I implore our residents, our elected officials, and our governor to participate in and promote the 2020 census count, and educate others on the importance of the census, to ensure Houston and Texas gets our fair share of representation and federal funding so we can meet the needs of our residents and carry out the work we need to do in our great city."

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