by Kai Porter, KOB TV
June 27, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject a question about citizenship on the 2020 census will be good for New Mexico, according to one organization in Albuquerque.

James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, says the Supreme Court’s decision is a good thing, because adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census could lower response rates.

“With that potential citizenship question in there it was pretty clear that was intended to have a dampening impact on the willingness of particularly the immigrant population, but also others, to participate in the census,” said Jimenez.

Jimenez said New Mexico already leads the country with the highest hard-to-count populations.

“People that live in poverty, people that live on native or tribal lands, low income people and people of Hispanic or Latino background,” he said.

Jimenez said an undercount of New Mexicans in the 2020 census by just 1% could mean our state would lose out on $600 million in funds over the next ten years.

“Many of our federal grant programs base the allocation to states on the U.S. census numbers and to the extent that New Mexico is undercounted,” he said. “That means the dollars that would have come here are going to be distributed to other states.”

Statement from City of Santa Fe spokesperson Lilia Chacon:

“The best that you can say about the Supreme Court decision concerning the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census is that it averted a guaranteed disaster—a politically motivated effort to disenfranchise immigrants and people of color. Now we have to do the real work of making sure that everyone gets counted. For democracy to win, we need to do everything in our power to see to it that everyone is counted—everyone.”