Rep. Joaquin Castro denounces 2020 census citizenship question

Hispanic caucus leader tells ABC News: "No one should politicize the census."
4:40 | 01/15/19

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Transcript for Rep. Joaquin Castro denounces 2020 census citizenship question
I wanna bring in now our congressman Markey Castro of Texas he's the chairman of the congressional Hispanic caucus and someone who's been of vocal opponent of this effort to include the question congressman thank you so much. For joining us during the briefing room want to get your reaction right off the top to this rule we not a federal court. I was glad to see the court rule this way. Basically the trump administration. Has been trying to politicize the census. And I know it's Wilbur Ross in the Commerce Department but relieved Stephen Miller and those folks over at the White House. Who were trying to use the census as an act of intimidation. To basically get certain people to stay in the shadows and that's undocumented immigrants and others. And remember the reason this is important because the census is supposed to be account. Everybody who was in the United States. That's all it is its account of every single person who is here. Regardless of their status. And as Joseph mentioned it helps determine. Things like federal funding. And so it's a very important document and nobody Democrat Republican nobody should try to politicize. This document. It's so did to play devil's advocate that to the trump administration has said that congressman this is just a mind being question are you a citizen. Hot it's been asked in the past it you know it isn't it reasonable for for the government to collect. An accurate number of how many citizens are in the United States what do you say to that argument. Yeah that's a great question I think a lot of people who hear that would probably say hey Al what's wrong with asking whether somebody's a citizen or not. But remember a thing about the White House we have right now. This is the White House that has instituted what is essentially a Muslim trauma program. That has demonized immigrants scapegoated immigrants use them for political purposes. That wants to build a wall. And the last time this question was asked. Was in segregated America was in I think the 1940 census was the last time that this question was asked. There's a reason that after that it has not been asked and that's because. This shouldn't be a political document and everybody that's here every person should feel comfortable answering it because it's important information that the federal government needs. And what you think the practical impacts will be congressman if this. If if if it's affirmed that the question can actually be put. And it's worn torn census what what would happen if you if it if it was put there yeah. Well I I think that's a good question because the battle's not over the legal battle will continue on whether this is going to be included or not. And it is ultimately included our hope that it's not. But if it is ultimately included I think we which are going to see I'm fairly confident is that you're gonna have hundreds of thousands of households. Who are perhaps millions. Who are less likely to answer the senses and it's already tough to get people to answer the senses but you're gonna have less people answering it which means. Big states like Texas my home state probably Florida California and other places are gonna get less federal funding. And we're gonna have much less accurate information about the United States in general. And congressman before and I let you go got to ask you about your colleague Steve King from Iowa who is taken a lot of heat today there's that censure. Resolution on the floor. He just took to the floor we talked earlier in the show trying to explain his comments does that did did his explanation alleviate your concerns what what's your take on what's happening with Steve King. I didn't get to hear all of his remarks I did hear a few minutes of what he had to say. But let's feed the problem is its teeth he's been doing this for years he's been demonizing. Immigrants and brown people for a long time. And finally crossed the line even for. Four Republicans and conservatives in congress I was glad to see that we had I think what looked like a near unanimous vote I glanced up at at the voting board. Condemnation of steam being because there's a real effect to that kind of language and the effect is that it creates a climate of intolerance in this country and we have seen people's lives be putting danger we've seen people attack on the street. Because of the color of their skin we've seen people murdered in their synagogue because of their religion. We've seen people slandered in their schools yelled and call went back and others slander slurs because simply of of who they are. Things that they have no way of changing so. The language is seeking his use is he is. Very hurtful but also in many ways for people for Americans dangerous language and there's got to be a price to that kind of shameless bigotry. All right Greg congressmen walking cast a chairman Medicare congressional Hispanic caucus thank you so much for coming on the briefing room appreciate your time very much sir.

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

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