Seventeen states, DC file lawsuit to block citizenship question from 2020 Census

Seventeen states, DC file lawsuit to block citizenship question from 2020 Census

Healey, who has filed and joined multiple lawsuits against the Trump administration since January 2017, on Tuesday signed on with 18 attorneys general in the filing of the lawsuit, which argues that the addition of the question to the US Census will depress participation in communities with immigrants and lead to undercounting of the population. "Thus, states like NY with larger immigrant populations will once again feel the pinch and lose critical federal dollars". "This capricious decision by the Trump administration increases the likelihood that residents in our city will decline to participate in the census out of fear", he said. "Adding an untested question on citizenship will silence many in immigrant communities and no doubt suppress the census data", said Congressman Eliot Engel.

One study on the possible outcomes of asking about citizens' status suggested that more than 24 million individuals could avoid taking part in the Census itself if such a question is presented.

Seventeen states, the District of Columbia and six cities sued the U.S. government yesterday, saying the addition of a citizenship question to the census form is unconstitutional.

Federal officials have said they need the question to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. In 1974, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights criticized the Census Bureau and its methods of counting Hispanics, describing their methods and procedures as "disastrous".

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"The Department of Commerce is not able to determine definitively how inclusion of a citizenship question on the decennial census will impact responsiveness", Ross wrote in a memo on the decision. Tacking on this citizenship question seems to fall directly into that category. The District of Columbia uses U.S. Census information to draw ward, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and voting precinct boundaries.

Maryland could lose a lot of federal money and possibly a seat in Congress if residents are required to answer a question about their citizenship on US Census forms.

ABC News reported on Tuesday that staff in the Census Bureau warned last fall the responses they received in focus groups and pre-testing for the census indicated an increased fear among immigrants that the information they volunteered would be used against them and their families. However, simply adding a question about a person's citizenship has the very real potential to reduce its accuracy and drive up the already high cost of conducting the count. Immigrants account for 9.6 percent of Oregon's population, the suit claims, and in 2014, around 32 percent of immigrants in OR were undocumented.

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