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Change to Census Could Jeopardize Funding and Political Representation

Immigration Status

Recent moves by the Trump administration to crack down on undocumented immigrants may have an unforeseen effect on the accuracy of the 2020 census. Key Democrats are warning that immigrants may opt out of the census to avoid answering questions about their immigration status on the paperwork required for this process. This could skew results for the U.S. Census, which is used to determine legal representation and federal funding for communities throughout the United States. Undercounting the number of people in a particular area could potentially change the political map and lead to underrepresentation for areas with high numbers of legal and undocumented immigrants.

Change to Census Prompts Concern

The issue with the 2020 census arises from a decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add a question pertaining to the citizenship status of the respondents. This represents a major change that has created real discomfort among immigrants and their advocates. On March 27, 2018, the attorney-general of California filed a suit in federal court to block the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census, arguing that “California simply has too much to lose.”

Political Strongholds Threatened

Most analysts believe that undocumented immigrants are less likely to fill out the census forms accurately based on fears that they may be targeted for deportation and other legal actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The primary side effect of the change may be the reallocation of political representation and the loss of federal funding for areas that are underreported because of the new citizenship questions. This could result in significant shifts in the political landscape after the 2020 census results are tallied.

Most Immigrants Unlikely to Be at Risk

The answers given on the census form are unlikely to be used by ICE and other federal agencies to pursue deportation actions against undocumented immigrants. For those concerned about their current status, however, working with a qualified New York immigration lawyer is the best way to resolve issues related to visas, citizenship or legal status. Your New York immigration lawyer can work with you and your family to find pathways to legal residency and citizenship.

At Pozo Goldstein, we work with you to determine the best solutions for your situation. By choosing a New York immigration lawyer from our office, you can be sure of the greatest depth of expertise and experience for your case. Call us today at 212-201-9031 to discuss your situation with us. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.