County Committee Gets 2020 Census Update

County Clerk Sylvia Garza-Perez with a map showing areas not counted in 2010 census. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The upcoming U.S. Census will kick off in April of 2020, but a group of concerned residents have been meeting to ensure that the population count includes everybody.

At a meeting last week of what is called the Cameron County Complete Count Committee was revealed that about 25 percent of the county population was not included the 2010 Census.

For this region, this means the loss of millions of dollars from the federal government.

Sylvia Garza-Perez told the group how important it is for everybody to be counted in next year’s program.

“If we don’t get a good count we are going to be losing a lot of money,” she said. “This is our opportunity to be heard again in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Garza-Perez said the new census will be a major undertaking.

“We believe the population of Cameron County has reached the 500,000 mark,” she said, “and that we were undercounted.”

County officials said one of the best ways to get the message across are the area churches as people go there to worship.

“Anybody who goes to our churches, schools, grocery stores, hospitals and schools need to be counted,” she said. “If they get our services they need to be counted regardless of their legal or non-legal status.”

However, a sticking point in the upcoming census is the issue of citizenship – something which the Trump administration is trying to include in the questionnaire.

County and human rights advocates said that could leave out a lot of people due to fears of reprisals.

The issue will be decided by a higher court later this year, County Judge Eddie Treviño said earlier.

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