States, cities sue USA over census citizenship question

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Those opposed to the citizenship question claim that such a chilling effect will leave often-Democratic states underrepresented in the census - which will affect funding and also representation in Congress. Four former census directors, who were appointed by Presidents from both political parties, agree that adding a citizenship question will depress response rates, and is therefore unlikely to yield the accurate citizen voting-age population data sought by the Justice Department.

The lawsuit argues that under the US Constitution, the Census Bureau must determine the whole number of persons living in each US state and demanding information on citizenship from respondents would decrease the number of participating immigrants.

Attorney General Josh Stein on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the United States government over the addition of a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, according to a press release.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, also includes six cities and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors and comes a week after California sued the administration over the same issue.

"This is a blatant effort to undermine the census and to prevent the census bureau from carrying out its clear constitutional mandate", Schneiderman said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit, which was joined by 18 attorneys general, six cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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CT is joining the mutli-state legal effort to block the Trump administration from including a question about citizenship status to the 2020 U.S. Census.

The cities of New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco and Seattle are also plaintiffs, as is the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Fourteen percent of D.C.'s population is foreign-born and an estimated 25,000 immigrants are undocumented, Attorney General Karl Racine said the citizenship question could undermine residents. The resulting undercount would deprive immigrant communities of fair representation when legislative seats are apportioned and district lines are drawn. Obtaining the cooperation of a suspicious and fearful population would be impossible if the group being counted perceived any possibility of the information being used against them.

In 2009, all eight former Directors of the Census Bureau dating back to 1979 - who served 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 itself. Last month Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a lawsuit against California over policies that the administration says hinder federal immigration authorities from enforcing USA immigration laws.

The following is a press release from the MA attorney general's office. Consequently, inaccurate counts can potentially deprive states of much-needed funds created to protect low-income and vulnerable communities.

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