WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland, and Xochitl Torres Small, and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham are sounding the alarm about the Trump administration’s decision to end Census field data collection activities by September 30, 2020—one month earlier than previously planned.
During a press teleconference today, the lawmakers highlighted how the administration’s sudden reversal of earlier plans to delay census operations during the coronavirus pandemic, threatens a full, fair, and accurate 2020 Census and jeopardizes critical federal funding for New Mexico.
As a result of the new September 30 deadline, there is now limited time for census door knockers to go door-to-door to collect responses New Mexicans who have not completed the census. The census count helps determine congressional representation and sets federal funding levels that affect schools, roads, hospitals, and more.
The lawmakers are urging New Mexicans that have yet to respond to the 2020 Census to do so immediately by visiting www.my2020census.gov.
“Every New Mexican counts—and if New Mexico falls short on this year’s Census it will cost our state billions for critical services like Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps and school lunches,” said Udall. “I am fighting against attempts by the Trump administration to cut our Census timeline short and undermine outreach to Tribal and rural communities in New Mexico. I encourage every person in New Mexico to respond to the Census, and you can do it by phone, by mail, and over the internet. Taking 10 minutes to complete the Census will make a difference for the next 10 years for your community and for New Mexico.”
“We all have a role to play in making sure all New Mexicans get counted so that we can receive our fair share of federal funding. An incomplete count can cost millions for New Mexico’s schools, roads, hospitals, and more over the next decade,” said Heinrich. “I encourage all New Mexicans to help shape our state’s future and make sure no one in New Mexico is left behind by responding to the 2020 Census today.”
“New Mexicans are in danger of being undercounted in the 2020 Census, and the stakes could not be higher,” said Luján. “An undercount of just one percent could mean a loss of $780 million for our state. I encourage every New Mexican who has not yet responded to the census to do so today. It’s never been easier or safer, and you can help ensure that our state gets its fair share of federal funding for our schools, roads, and so much more.”
“In the face of this pandemic, we’ve learned what an undercount can mean. The most undercounted communities in the 2010 Census are also the most at risk. I filled out my Census already and it only took about ten minutes. It’s the only way to be sure New Mexico gets our fair share of funding for hospitals, roads, schools, broadband infrastructure, and programs that our families rely on – for the next 10 years. We don’t get a do-over. We all owe it to our families, neighbors, communities and to New Mexico to complete our 2020 Census forms. Go to My2020Census.Gov or call 800-923-8282 by September 30th to respond,” said Haaland during the call.
“New Mexico’s Second Congressional District has historically been one of the hardest parts of our state to enumerate, so it is critical that we remain focused on doing all we can to achieve a complete count. If we fall short, we risk losing out on millions of dollars in future funding for our communities’ roads, bridges, and other essential services and programs,” said Torres Small. “I encourage every New Mexican to stand up for their community and respond to the Census by phone, mail, or online today.”
“Filling out your census is about getting New Mexico the money to provide essential services to children, families and workers throughout the state,” said Lujan Grisham. “It takes just 10 minutes to make sure New Mexico gets its fair share of the pie. And this is our one chance in a decade to get it right. An undercount right now leads to billions less for our state in the next 10 years -- that's almost a full childhood. The stakes could not be higher."