President Donald Trump is saying he is exploring making an executive order to get the citizenship question on the 2020 Census after the U.S. Supreme court rejected it.
Dallas County leaders say that could produce unintended consequences and end with the county losing billions.
Republicans don't see the harm in asking if someone's a U.S. citizen. Democrats claim the question is designed to deny immigrants representation.
But Dallas County says every person represents about $15,000 in tax revenue over ten years, meaning the county could miss out on billions of dollars if people don't answer when the census comes calling.
Despite a recent supreme court decision, President Trump says he is determined to make a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
That doesn't sit well with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a Democrat.
"Obviously, it is scary to people. Why do they want to know if I am a citizen if they are not going to harass me in some way," Jenkins said. "If there is a fear on the part of that family, you could have a family of four or six or eight that decide not to fill it out. Four is $60,000 over 10 years.
The census plays a role in how many congressional seats a state gets. But it also determines where federal dollars go based on population.
"The Census Department tells us that if they can get the question on there, it will lead to an eight percent undercount in places like Dallas," Jenkins said.
An eight percent undercount could mean Dallas County will lose $3.2 billion in ten years. Jenkins says that's more than the cost of AT&T Stadium and American Airlines Center combined.
Domingo Garcia is the national president for the League of United Latin American Citizens. Trump says It's important to know how many citizens there are in the county. Garcia says the move is pure politics.
"For a lot of families, someone is undocumented, someone who is a citizen, they may not want to answer that question. Those people are not going to be counted," Garcia said. "That means Texas could lose two or three congressional seats. I think when the supreme court says we are going to leave it to the federal courts and he does it anyway, he is basically trying to rip up the constitution and the division of power."
The Commerce Department says printing has already started on the questionnaire. Still, President Trump says he is exploring more options. The legal case is still active and is awaiting whatever action the president decides to take.