Newly released population data from New York could spell trouble for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with the prospect of the Empire State losing up to two congressional seats following the 2020 Census.
The New York delegation currently consists of 27 members of the House of Representatives.
However, the state recently experienced its fourth year in a row of population decline, according to a report released this week by the Empire Center.
In fact, New York saw a net outflow of just shy of 181,000 people in the 12 months leading up to July 1, 2019.
Further, the state only “gained 45,753 foreign immigrants over the previous year — the lowest annual immigrant total since 2010, and the second lowest in at least 58 years,” according to the Empire Center.
“New York’s cumulative net domestic migration loss of 1,379,210 residents to other states since 2010 was the largest of any state in absolute terms, and second only to Alaska as a percentage of estimated population at the start of the decade,” the think tank found.
Election Data Services reported in 2018 the staggering loss of residents could mean the state will lose at least one and likely two congressional seats to another state following the results of the 2020 Census.
One of the seats that looks to be in jeopardy is the 14th Congressional District represented by Ocasio-Cortez.
The district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, is made up of 47 percent foreign-born residents, according to The City.
Using data and analysis from The Texas Tribune, the outlet reported that AOC’s “district could be particularly vulnerable to undercount because a little over a quarter of those living there are non-citizens.”
In fact, the 14th district has a higher percentage of non-citizens than any other in the state.
These facts may help explain Ocasio-Cortez’s over-the-top rhetoric directed at President Donald Trump regarding the issue of illegal immigration.
In a June Instagram video, the congresswoman said the federal government is “running concentration camps on our southern border. And that is exactly what they are.”
“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity that ‘Never Again’ means something,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”
In February, she compared Trump’s border wall to the Berlin Wall, ignoring the fact that the purpose of the latter was to keep East Germany’s citizens from escaping, not West Germany’s from getting in.
Ocasio-Cortez said during a congressional hearing in June she wanted to know the “racism” behind the Trump administration seeking to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
“I want to know about corruption. I want to know about the racism and the very disturbing history that we’re seeing here,” she said.
.@AOC fired up on the census citizenship question: “I want to know why we have skipped every normal, mandated procedure in testing how this question gets added in the census … I want to know about corruption, I want to know about the racism.” pic.twitter.com/LjTmzWLyI1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 12, 2019
The citizenship question has appeared on the main census questionnaire throughout U.S. history, most recently in 1950, according to The New York Times.
It then remained on the “long form” until 2000, when it became part of the American Community Survey, a rolling survey which replaced the long form.
Questioning whether a person is a U.S. citizen has nothing to do with race everything to do with Americans being fairly represented in Congress.
In July, the Trump administration dropped its efforts to include the citizenship question on the main 2020 Census form after the Supreme Court found the Commerce Department had not adequately explained the rationale for its inclusion.
Jeffrey Wice, a fellow at the State University of New York Buffalo Law School and redistricting expert who’s a senior adviser to New York Counts 2020, said he believes immigrants still may be deterred from participating in the census, fearful the citizen question may be asked.
“The damage has been done,” Wice told The City last summer regarding the Trump administration seeking to add the question.
Ocasio-Cortez recognizes the importance of the census to her district.
“Our strategy is all about building trust in the community before the enumerators even come to your door,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“As you see, we’re a year out from the census, and we’re already here with organizers, enumerators,” she explained to The City in July. “So step one is to hire people from the community.”
Of course, the 2020 Census results will not impact districting this election year, so AOC’s district is safe for now.
But 2022 may be a different story.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.