State Assemblyman Robert Rivas issued a July 9 press release regarding a proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
“The Census is not and must not be a political weapon that incites fear in our community,” Rivas said in the release. “All people deserve to be recognized and included in the Census.”
Though the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in June that the citizenship question could not be included in the nationwide survey, in recent days President Donald Trump has said his administration is working on an executive order related to the issue.
“A fair and accurate count of our entire population ensures that communities in our district and state get the public resources they deserve such as funding for roads, education, and health care programs,” Rivas said. “I am disturbed by the repeated attempts of the Trump Administration to attack communities of immigrants, many of whom do the hard work needed to put food on our tables.”
Rivas has previously spoken out about a possible citizenship question being included in the 2020 Census. During the first meeting of the San Benito County Complete Count Committee in February, he said: “The citizen question is a way to intimidate and put fear in people that don’t come out and stand and say ‘Hey, I am here.’ They may be here illegally, but they still need to be counted.”
Data collected from the census, which takes place every 10 years, helps allocate billions of dollars in federal and state funding to local communities for things like transportation and education.
At a January meeting of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, Census Bureau Partnership Specialist Robert Davila said San Benito County will get about $2,000 annually per person that is counted. County Administrative Officer Ray Espinosa said at the same meeting the county received $75,000 from the state for staff allocation toward completing the census locally, with about $7,500 going to spearhead the Complete Count Committee.
The nationwide survey is expected to be available online on March 23, 2020, nine days before the phone and paper versions of the census begin on April 1.