Yesterday I was in Federal Court to testify against the Citizenship question on the 2020 census.

La Unión del Pueblo Entero, represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, is suing the Trump Administration to strike down the question that would lead to a severe undercount our community.

Juanita Valdez-Cox

We count. But the Trump administration doesn’t think so.

In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, our communities are hard working. As Latinos, we sacrifice for our families to get ahead.

But the Trump administration doesn’t want to see our communities advance. In fact, the racial animus the administration has shown toward Latinos and our family members not born in the US has divided our families and held our communities back.

An accurate census count should bring more resources to our region, to help us provide a better life for our families and can help the entire community advance.

That is why we are taking the administration to court this week. I testified that the addition of a citizenship question is motivated by racial animus intended to severely undercount Latinos all across the country.

Latinos are the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. In the Rio Grande Valley–a region of Texas that is almost 90 percent Latino–many of our families are mixed-status families, meaning the same household may include citizen, Legal Permanent Resident, and undocumented members of the family. Many of these families are headed by undocumented parents with U.S. Citizen children. A citizenship question on the census form would result in millions being undercounted.

That will hurt Latino communities and dilute our political representation and federal funding to our communities.

In light of the widespread and unprecedented fear and mistrust of the government that exists within the Latino community, adding the citizenship question to Census 2020 will undermine the fundamental Constitutional mandate for a full and fair count.

No matter how much hate the president directs at Latinos, we know that our families count. We will do everything possible to make sure that we are counted in the 2020 Census, including taking the administration to court.