San Jose mayor on impact citizenship question could have on the city

San Jose, CA Mayor Sam Liccardo and Kelly Percival of the Brennan Center for Justice discuss Pres. Trump's plans to drop his census fight.
7:03 | 07/11/19

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Transcript for San Jose mayor on impact citizenship question could have on the city
You want to bring in our house now on. Our Justice Department producer White House reporter as well who helped break this news Alex tell us what this means the president is about to announce in a short time. That he's giving up on his plan to get a citizenship question. On the census but he's gonna pursue a different avenue. Yes I don't think that we're gonna hear the president say I'm giving up here but what sources told. On both Catherine folders and myself. Is that the president is going to announce that he's not going to move forward with the legal fight that the administration is waging in three separate states to try and add the twin of these citizenship question. To the Tony Tony census and steady. He's expected announce that the Commerce Department he's directing the Commerce Department to try and find that data that Susan chippy at. Through other means now what that means it's really not clear right now the Commerce Department just does not have appropriations and money to send out a separate. Citizenship question to every American household so it's unclear whether don't get that information possibly from internal government data. I'm but the present and I think we'll go out there and say that he's declaring victory we're gonna find a way to get this question answered but it's not going to be through that means that he previously promised he would get. This is a huge development for people who have been following the census story just to remind people the census Alex you know this. Is so important to ask every ten years how many people live in the United States its use to determine. Apportionment of seats in congress also. The electoral votes of each state of course important for presidential elections can be. Distribution of billions of dollars of federal tax funds are all based on where people live in the United States and so it's so. Are important to get an accurate count we know this is coming up in there'd been a big fight over the impact of the citizenship question. Could have on that count. One thing that's interest in Alex is that way. And if the administration does get citizenship here through some other means big question is will that still be relevant. Two redistricting in a lot of these different states how would what we know. I think they're gonna have to try and clarify because bottom line. Exactly what you said that congressional district drying that federal funding that goes to these communities is all dictated by data that comes straight from the census so much they try and incorporate that idea into the numbers that they end up getting from the Tony Tony census. I just don't see how they're going to be able to do that but but really what those immigration advocates and those other civil rights advocates that brought the suit have said is they're worried that this is already had a chilling effect. Because the point that they made in court was that this question was added by the administration to try and intimidate. Non citizens in these communities from signing or or sending the census forms back. They say there those advocates say that this is already had that effect that because of all this news covers has been generated around the administration using the census to ask the question. That those people will not do because they're afraid that that's that that the ministers will find a way to use the database and back to them against the. The census bureau's certainly have a lot of work to do now if you read to rebuild people's trust. Hot in the census I want to bring into our stakeholders in this census fight mayor Sam a part of San Jose. I California and Kelly Percival she's at the Brennan center for justice a study this issue. In the mr. mayor welcome back to the prisoner wanna start with you and get your reaction to this administration. Decision to step back from the fight to get the citizenship. Question on the short form of official census document. Big victory for advocates are you. Bush did as we lost years go what are the court all its slate. We've all been waiting to understand what outrageous things might come from this administration next. I'm certainly thrilled to hear that this administration recognizes. That the Supreme Court has the final words. And your constitution requires. And it utilizes his bruised back and remind our. And our viewers what's at stake in communities like yours even at the local level from. From the census count and an accurate census count went. What do you need those does data for. Well war. Large neighbor said he likes to say about one might one million people every hundred hearted person. Is equivalent to about 2000 dollars annually in federal. Education spending health spending housing spending. And crawl through many east we have in our city and so the courts to reject gamers won't ask. These he's that's hundreds of millions of dollars. It's a big impact obviously and a lot of those as funds are needed to care for. Those residents and K hopper public services Kelly personal you have argued. At super center for justice of the government now has a huge task in front of it after the smoke clears from this legal battle. To convince people that the census is a nonpartisan. Document and people need to participate in it. Absolutely on the census is not supposed to be partisan and you really affect every person in the country. It doesn't matter what they're right or left. It's important just. The previous speaker a safer 900 billion dollars in federal funding to beat up every single year. Dates on its numbers so the administration really need to start to repair that damage it's done. When it might just in proposing that question and fighting ports Zohar. They only increased fears that we know where Arnie he just didn't support assistance in questioning her I think people are. Are pretty afraid of the federal government. And another even more self and so when you get or in the mail from the federal government saying please give us this information about yourself. There's a lot of people out there who aren't going to be going back for and there are even left behind to open the door and in greater confidence. And we should remind everybody that federal law of course does state that the Census Bureau can't use any of that data they gather for any purpose other than statistics. Of course it's it's the perception in the fear Vick act can matter in so many cases mr. mayor. Back TU. You know what have you heard from your residence. In your constituents about this there are people talking about it in in San Jose is there an awareness that this fight. Is going on in concern about it it's. Awareness among I'll talk organizations churches. Those organizations are deeply engaged in serving your community and related piece Peter bright light cameras been done already we've got streets and announced that many states. Throughout the country this weekend. I just city like San Jose where we've got 400000 people were warning of more countries in our city. About ninety government media documented that is a huge amount it appears that no upbeat good any interaction of the government. Simply saying well federal law says we won't users use of solace. Current mayor Sam Ricardo San Jose California great to have you with the U instant reaction. Two this big development think you Syrian Kelly personal with the Brennan center of justice appreciate your analysis and expertise. I as always Alex non thinks or break in the news much more abcnews.com and on the ABC news app.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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