Congressman Gonzalez Lauds Judge Furman’s Decision to Allow Census Citizenship Lawsuit to Proceed
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement in response to U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman’s denial of the administration’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit from states and advocacy groups regarding the reinstatement of a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire.
“Judge Furman’s decision allowing the lawsuit to progress gives the court an opportunity to dive into the facts,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “I stand with Judge Furman and call on President Trump and Secretary Ross to provide the factual basis for their claims of voter fraud, something that has already been debunked since the last election.”
In January, Congressman Gonzalez sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressing his concerns with the Justice Management Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s request to restore the citizenship question. While the DOJ has asserted that this would help to prevent voter fraud, the administration’s intentions have remained clear as evidenced by their actions on family separation, and the rhetoric of President Trump.
Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, all responses to Census Bureau surveys must remain confidential. Therefore, the privacy of all information obtained by the Census is protected under the law and will not be shared with immigration enforcement agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP); law enforcement agencies including the FBI or local police; or be used to determine a respondent’s eligibility for government benefits. The results from any Census or survey are reported in statistical format only.
The last Census occurred in 2010, and the base population estimate for Hidalgo County was 774,770. As of July 1, 2016, the Census Bureau estimated that Hidalgo County’s population had grown by nearly 10 percent to 849,843. The Census Bureau reported a low response score of 32.7 percent.
Thanks to the work of Congressman Gonzalez and local stakeholders, the Census Bureau is proceeding with plans to open a new Area Census Office in Hidalgo County in the summer of 2019. Congressman Gonzalez requests that the Bureau work diligently to accurately count South Texas in the upcoming 2020 Census.