84 / 67
      85 / 70
      80 / 66

      Hidalgo County fights for a higher census count

      Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia said the federal government gives out entitlement funds based on population.

      A small population, he said, equals to less funds.

      "For about every 10,000 people you're looking at loosing 30million dollars over a 10 year period of time, Garcia said. That's why it's important that we get the right count in place."

      If the numbers stay as they are now, Garcia said Hidalgo County would lose anywhere from $300-million to $600-million dollars in funds.

      "We believe that the residents of our colonias were not properly counted, Garcia started. We estimate between 100,000 to 200,000 people were not counted."

      In the past the county has threatened to sue the United States Census Bureau.

      But now they believe they will have a bigger impact if they make an administrative appeal to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

      "It gives us an opportunity to go to individuals, not a judge or in a courtroom, the people who did the actual counting and try and convince them that they messed up, Garcia said.

      He added that they have already started to put evidence together that will support their argument---that Hidalgo County was severely undercounted.