April 5, 2011 | KXAN | Original Article

Suit claims Census undercounted Latinos

AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Mexican American Legislative Caucus on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas arguing that data from the 2010 U.S. Census undercounts Latinos in the state and should not be used in the upcoming redistricting process.

“MALC has always been committed to a redistricting process that is fair and representative," said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a San Antonio Democrat who leads the organization.

"We cannot allow flawed data to dilute the voting rights of the Texas Latino community due to improper processes on the part of the Census Bureau in Texas.”

The organization said that the U.S. Census Bureau historically has recognized that some populations, particularly those in colonias along the Texas border with Mexico, are difficult to count.

MALC alleges that census officials had pledged to launch a public education campaign to ensure a more complete count, but abandon the strategy at the last minute.

"The resulting undercount of Latinos along the border region of Texas was between 4% and 8% of the population for the region, the organization said.

The lawsuit would affect  the redistricting maps currently being drawn to develop districts for the Legislature, Congress and the State Board of Education.