NY to lead suit challenging citizenship question

Trump administration to reinstate census question about citizenship

The question of whether a state can be required to use total population or total citizens to design legislative districts was settled in 2015 by the Supreme Court.

"I have no doubt that the Trump Administration is adding this question to try to suppress responses and diminish the count in states with large immigrant populations, like Massachusetts", Galvin said in a statement.

A coalition of state attorneys general, including Becerra, urged the department last month to not add such a question, saying it could lower participation among immigrants and cause a population undercount.

The agency said the citizenship question will help to ensure enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, a 1965 law created to ensure minority access to the polls.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the question's inclusion on Monday night.

"It is imperative that the data gathered in the census is reliable, given the wide ranging impacts it will have on U.S. policy", Mr Cruz said in a press release issued by the three.

NY announced it would also lead a separate multi-state lawsuit to challenge the move on Tuesday.

Opponents of the change to the Census worry that the administration's aggressive rhetoric has already made immigrants less willing to respond to government surveys, and that adding a question which asks if they are United States citizens will further depress their participation. "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". "Our objective is to have this citizenship question - which arbitrarily ignores decade after decade of our nation's regular census practices - not included in the 2020 Census".

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat, told the Associated Press that he expected his state would also join in a lawsuit.

Ross said he had determined that including the question would provide the most "complete and accurate" citizen voting age population (CVAP) data.

California and NY vowed to sue to block the move, saying it will deter immigrants from participating.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the "reckless" census question will "undermine the accuracy and legitimacy of Census data".

The 2020 US Census will ask respondents whether or not they are US citizens for the first time since 1950.

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

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state will sue the Trump administration over its decision. The 2020 U.S. Census will add a question about citizenship status, a move that brought swift condemnation from Democrats who said it would intimidate immigrants and discourage them from participating.

President Donald Trump has argued, without providing evidence, that millions of illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Eric Holder, the former attorney-general under Barack Obama and present chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said he would also litigate to stop what he described as "a direct attack on our representative democracy".

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