Lawmaker: Census citizenship question will suppress participation

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PORT CHESTER -

A Westchester lawmaker says he disapproves of a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Westchester Legislator Lyndon Williams authored a resolution opposing the Census citizenship question.  It passed Monday night with bipartisan support.

"We believe that having a citizenship question will seriously suppress participation," he says.

The question asks each respondent whether or not they are a United States citizen.

Williams says if the county population is undercounted, it will affect congressional representation.

"We will lose federal funding,” he says. “That means that the county will then have to turn to county taxpayers to make up the difference. We don't want to do that."

Immigrant advocate Luis Yumbla also believes the federal government should remove the question. He says he is concerned that it will deter the immigrant community from participating.

"We're living in fear right now," Yumbla says. "If they're going to ask if we are citizens, the people are not going to answer. The people are not going to open the doors."

A congressional hearing concerning the Census citizenship question is underway. Several states, including New York, have filed lawsuits over the issue against the Trump administration.

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