California sues Trump administration over citizenship question added to census

Posted March 28, 2018

"This is something that has been part of the census for decades and something that the Department of Commerce felt strongly needed to be included again".

"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", officials said in a press release issued Monday.

Attorney General Maura Healey is joining a multi-state lawsuit against the federal government after US officials made a decision to add a question about citizenship to the USA census in 2020. It helps communities determine where to build everything from schools and grocery stores to hospitals.

Census data helps the USA government calculate funding distribution and draw up districts for state and local elections.

Ross had decided that "obtaining complete and accurate information to meet this legitimate government goal outweighed the limited potential adverse impacts", the department said in a statement. "If you drive those people out of the Census, the outcome is that they're not in it".

More news: 'Pacific Rim Uprising' dethrones 'Black Panther' at the box office

But other organizations, like the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a group that has lobbied for immigrant rights in the past, disputed that claim, calling the choice to include a citizenship question an "arbitrary and untested decision that all but guarantees that the census will not produce a full and accurate count of the population as the constitution requires".

The impending multi-state lawsuit, which is being led by New York's Attorney General, will name the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau as defendants.

The question on citizenship hasn't been used in the census since 1950. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit against the administration Monday night.

"With an inaccurate census, all those forecasts become inaccurate and the whole planning and process in business and government is impaired", says Wachter.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also took issue with the move.

More news: Turkish forces begin operation against PKK in Iraqi Sinjar city

Mr Becerra said it violated the United States constitution, as those who are undocumented migrants would fear coming forward and so would stop the federal government from being able to conduct a full count of the USA population. "The administration's decision to add a citizenship question is at best a dramatic misstep, and at worst a politically-motivated move that will undermine a fair and accurate census", Weiser said.

Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation last week that would prohibit the commerce secretary from enacting any major operational design that had not been researched and tested for less than three years prior to the opening day of the census.

The citizenship question was asked in many 20th century censuses. NY plans to lead a multi-state lawsuit, he said.

Becerra also added: "California, with its large immigrant communities, would be disproportionately harmed by depressed participation in the 2020 census".

The Justice Department recently announced it was suing California over state and city laws the federal government has said extend protections to people living in the country illegally in so-called "sanctuary cities".

More news: Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker