SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4 News) – Getting a fair and accurate count. It’s the purpose of the census. It’s required by the U.S. Constitution that the federal government administers one every 10 years. It’s to tally people of all ages, races, ethnicities and all citizens and non-citizens.

However, some local leaders believe the uncertainty over whether or not the citizenship question will be on the 2020 census will greatly impact the state of Utah.

It comes after the recent back-and-forth with the Trump administration.

“We were really celebrating yesterday when we learned that the Commerce Department decided not to add the citizenship question,” said Ze Min Xiao, Director of Salt Lake County Office of New Americans.

But, Wednesday morning President Donald Trump tweeted out reports that the question would be dropped were “fake” news.

It wasn’t welcoming news for Xiao.

“As we talk to various sectors of the new American population, they have shared with us that they are not comfortable if the citizenship question is on the Census,” said Xiao.

Some of those sectors include immigrants, refugees, children and seniors.

According to information provided to ABC4 by Salt Lake County, not including these groups could result in a loss of $18.7 million annually for the state. That’s for every 1,000 residents not counted.

“We strongly believe that everyone should be counted in our state so that Utah can get the proper investment from the federal government and also the political representation,” said Luis Garza, Executive Director for Comunidades Unidas.

For those seeking citizenship like Sofia whose family is from Chile, the new high school graduate shares what being an American citizen means to her.

“Considering yourself an American should be more important that a piece of paper or plastic that says that you are,” said Sofia.

Locals are encouraged to join their local Census Complete County Committees. There will be outreach booths at various county events throughout the year if you’re interested.


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