CAIR-Houston is a proud supporter of the 2020 Census. For more information about the 2020 Census in Texas, please visit texascounts.org
But why the census? What is the big deal?
Why should people care, especially minorities that have felt marginalized for years in their own country?
The first reason is that participation in the 2020 Census is an extension of our civic engagement work over the years. To be civically engaged as a Muslim in Texas means that you have to take any and every opportunity presented to you to participate and be recognized. We see it as our duty to participate as American citizens.
Secondly, the Census helps even the playing field in providing fair representation for each state. Census data is what ultimately determines representation in Congress, state legislatures, counties, school boards, and all electoral bodies that use geographically defined membership.
Third, the Census is safe and confidential. No citizenship question was added to the 2020 Census after being permanently blocked by federal judges. The answers we provide are shared with no one, not the FBI, IRS, ICE, or any other governmental agency.
Last, and perhaps most important, the Census data will determine how much in federal funds will be distributed to the states throughout the following decade. With 25 percent of Texans living in hard-to-count areas, our state is at particularly high risk for a significant Census undercount. Being undercounted by even one percent in 2020 could result in a significant loss in federal funding for Texas — at least $300 million a year.
Much of our federal tax money that we send to Washington comes back to Texas in accordance with Census calculations and supports housing, transportation, and other services we use. If Texans are undercounted, we won’t get as much money as we deserve back from the federal government, and the state may have to pick up the tab for critical programs.