McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Census Bureau leaders have agreed to a meeting with Texas border lawmakers who allege there was an “undercount” in the 2020 Census, Border Report has learned.
U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela’s office said a meeting could be set up the week of Jan. 31 through Feb. 4 with Bureau officials. His office said “they still have to work out the details” but it looks like the Bureau is amenable to a sit down to hear the lawmakers’ concerns.
Democratic U.S. Reps. Vela, Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar of South Texas, along with U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, of El Paso, earlier this month sent a letter to new Census Director Robert Santos alleging that the Texas-Mexico border region was not accurately counted in the 2020 Census. And they asked for a meeting to discuss the count.
“Populations along the U.S.-Mexico border region are particularly difficult to reach, especially Hispanic families living in isolated rural colonias. The border colonias were among some of the most undercounted regions in the 2010 census and there are concerns the 2020 census undercount could be similarly large,” they wrote in the Jan. 10 letter.
The report estimates that Texas should receive $247 million more in 2021 federal Medicaid reimbursements.
Vela told Border Report: “With the federal funding allocated from the results of the U.S. Census, it is critical to have each and every individual counted to provide resources needed in our communities.”
Vela, who lives in Brownsville, Texas, on the Gulf Coast, is serving his last year in Congress and is retiring after this term.
A Census Bureau spokesperson told Border Report: “We look forward to continued communications on this matter.”
U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, the only Republican representing the Texas border, was not part of the meeting request.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at email@example.com.