Santa Clara County leaders denounce Trump’s efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from census

Bay Area

FILE – this April 5, 2020 file photo, shows An envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. A federal judge on Thursday, May 21, 2020, agreed to impose financial sanctions against the Trump administration for failing to produce hundreds of documents during litigation over whether a citizenship question could be added to the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — President Trumps recent memorandum calling to exclude undocumented immigrants from census totals is facing criticism from Santa Clara County leaders.

County leaders say President Trumps actions is another distraction by the administration to undermine efforts for a complete census count — designed to reduce immigrant civic participation.

In Santa Clara County, nearly 30 percent of Santa Clara County households have yet to complete the census.

“Santa Clara County is the best place to live, work, and play in large part because of the invaluable contributions made by the members of our immigrant communities, many of whom have been putting themselves at risk every day for months now as essential workers,” said Cindy Chavez, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. 

“The census is key to ensuring we are heard in Washington. We will vigorously contest any action that attempts to minimize or silence our voices.”

President Trumps recent memorandum is only part of a long history of attempts to exclude immigrant communities from participating in the 2020 census — dating back to June 27, 2019 when the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the administration’s attempts to add a citizenship question.

In response, President Trump issued an executive order to collect citizenship data from federal databases to in an effort described by the administration to “gain a full, complete and accurate count of the non-citizenship population.”

“We cannot allow anyone to drive our friends and neighbors into the shadows,” said David Campos, Deputy County Executive.

“This memorandum tries to persuade undocumented individuals, their families, and their communities not to take the census by stoking fear and confusion. The facts are that the Census will not ask anyone about their immigration status, and that any information the Census collects is private and confidential.”

In an effort to assist the community in making sure they fill out the census before the Oct. 31 deadline — the county is placing questionnaire assistance and kiosks at county COVID-19 testing sites.

Partnering with community organizations, the county has also implemented a telephone line to encourage census participation.

“We all count! Taking the census is important for every person living in this county and this country, regardless of immigration status,” said Dave Cortese, Santa Clara County Supervisor.

“Every response is critical to ensure we receive our fair share of funding for critical services like hospitals, schools, and roads over the next ten years.”

The Federal Census Bureau employees will begin in-person interviews at people’s home starting Aug. 11. for households who have yet to complete the census.

To complete the census click here or call 844-330-2020.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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