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

18 States Sue Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question

New York AG Eric Schneiderman Suing Trump Admin to Block Citizenship Question on Census

"Thus, states like NY with larger immigrant populations will once again feel the pinch and lose critical federal dollars".

"Politicizing the Census is not a good idea", she said.

"President Trump is trying to force America's immigrants into the shadows, and Chicago is proud to join with leaders from across the country in standing up to the latest effort to undermine our residents' rights", he added.

"There's an enumeration clause in the Constitution that the Census shall be an actual enumeration of the people who are living in each state,": says Frosh, responding to a question about why he believes this requirement is unconstitutional.

In the lead up to the 1850 census, Congress debated whether to include questions that might account for the children of black female slaves.

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.

"Between 1820 and 1950, nearly every decennial census asked a question on citizenship in some form", the department said, adding that surveys of sample populations also ask the citizenship question. The Census question in dispute will likely skew those numbers, the AGs argue, since undocumented immigrants may refuse to mark their citizenship status, (understandably) fearing deportation. Since at least 1980, Census officials of both political parties repeatedly warned that asking about citizenship would, as the government explained in a 1980 lawsuit, "inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count" by discouraging immigrants from participating. The lawsuit contends the question is created to depress participation in the census, which would adversely affect predominantly Democratic states with large immigrant populations, such as NY and New Jersey.

"Adding a citizenship question will cause the census count to plummet", Curtas said, and the state's already vulnerable for undercounting.

Schneiderman said he is ready to take the case to the Supreme Court but doubts it will need to go that far.

The Trump administration's decision to ask people about their citizenship has set off worries among Democrats that immigrants will dodge the survey altogether, diluting political representation for states that tend to vote Democratic and robbing many communities of federal dollars.

In Massachusetts, state law requires that local censuses from cities and towns ask residents for their nationality if they're not USA citizens.

"In 2009, all eight former Directors of the Census Bureau under both Democratic and Republican presidents - affirmed that a citizenship question would depress participation and lead to a significant undercount, undermining the objective of the Census", he said.

"It's illegal also because the Administrative Procedures Act requires changes to the Census questionnaire be done after study and after public hearings and based on something other than mere guesses and somebody's idea of what would be a good new policy", Frosh continues.

In Virginia, immigrants account for around 12 percent of the population and 300,000 are undocumented.

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