- The Washington Times - Friday, June 21, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke on Friday vowed to try to reverse any potential “undercount” of minority populations in the 2020 U.S. Census and to eliminate a newly proposed question about U.S. citizenship that the Trump administration is trying to add.

“We will make sure if there has been an undercount in 2020 that we get back out there and count every single American whose voice and whose story needs to be part of a national conversation,” he said. “If we fail to count everyone, it is a lack of resources, a lack of federal representation and a lack of representation in state legislatures — it is going to diminish the strength of the United States of America.”

“In my administration, there will be no citizenship question on the Census,” he said. “We know from recently released documents that this is racist in its design, it’s intended to suppress the vote of Latinos, of people of color.”

The former Texas congressman was speaking at a candidate forum in Miami, where the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is holding its annual conference this week.

He also said his hometown of El Paso, Texas, is one of the country’s safest cities because it welcomes “immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees.”

Mr. O’Rourke unveiled an immigration reform plan last month that would create a path to citizenship for approximately 11 million illegal immigrants and create a new “community-based” visa category, among other priorities.

Other 2020 contenders scheduled to speak Friday were former Obama administration official Julián Castro of Texas; Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Rep. Eric Swalwell of California; former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who has been leading the 2020 Democratic field in recent polls, is among the candidates who were not scheduled to attend. He and others will be campaigning in South Carolina on Friday and this weekend.

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