Addition of citizenship question to Census draws swift opposition

Trump administration to reinstate census question about citizenship

Trump administration to reinstate census question about citizenship

California sued President Trump's administration late Monday night after news broke that the Commerce Department will question US residents about their citizenship status in the 2020 Census. Becerra and the group believe the question creates several constitutional problems because large immigrant groups could be underrepresented in the Census.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross "has determined that reinstatement of a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census questionnaire is necessary to provide complete and accurate census block level data", the statement said.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who now serves as chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said his organization will also challenge the decision in court, calling it "motivated purely by politics".

"For the approximately 90 percent of the population who are citizens, this question is no additional imposition", Ross wrote in his memo. The Trump Administration's reckless decision to suddenly abandon almost 70 years of practice by demanding to know the citizenship status of each resident counted cuts to the heart of this sacred obligation - and will create an environment of fear and distrust in immigrant communities that would make impossible both an accurate Census and the fair distribution of federal tax dollars.

The 2020 Census will include a question on citizenship, reviving an inquiry that was last asked in the 1950s.

The census is taken every 10 years and helps determine political representation in Congress, federal funding of programs and other matters.

"We will litigate to stop the Administration from moving forward with this irresponsible decision", he said. "What the Trump Administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is an unconstitutional attempt to discourage an accurate census count".

Such a move by the administration had always been rumored-and Democrats have long promised to fight against the inclusion of the citizenship question by way of the courts. "My guess? We will have a less accurate census than the nation could have had". The department also said the citizenship question would be "the same as the one that is asked on the yearly American Community Survey (ACS)". DOJ and the courts use CVAP data for the enforcement of Section 2 of the VRA, which protects minority voting rights.

The state of California will sue the Trump administration over the upcoming 2020 census and its inclusion of a question about USA citizenship, California state attorney general Xavier Becerra said Monday night.

The Commerce Department said the decision came after a "thorough review" of the request from the Justice Department. Like Texas, California also has an outsized number of undocumented residents. An undercount, Becerra and Padilla argued, could jeopardize crucial community services such as homeland security funds, natural disaster preparation, and health care and infrastructure resources. "An undercount would threaten at least one of California's seats in the House of Representatives (and, by extension, an elector in the electoral college.) It would deprive California and its cities and counties of their fair share of billions of dollars in federal funds".

In a statement released Monday, the Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, said that including an inquiry about citizenship status would allow the department to accurately measure the portion of the population eligible to vote.

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