Census citizenship question continues effort to preserve white political power

18 States Sue Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question

How cartoonists reacted to the White House's Census 2020 citizenship question

Immigration ceremony in Los Angeles for new United States citizens Thomson Reuters NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of USA states on Tuesday filed a lawsuit to stop the Trump Administration from asking people filling out their 2020 census forms whether they are citizens. Yet demanding citizenship information in the Census is expected to depress participation among immigrants, causing a population undercount that would disproportionately harm states and cities with large immigrant communities.

The decision to include a question about citizenship in the 2020 census brought swift condemnation from Democrats who said it would intimidate immigrants and discourage them from participating.

One study on the possible outcomes of asking about citizens' status suggested that more than 24 million individuals could avoid taking part in the Census itself if such a question is presented.

Minnesota joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia to sue the US government Tuesday, saying the addition of a citizenship question to the census form is unconstitutional. The Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] is claiming that the questions are now necessary in order to enforce the Voting Rights Act by equipping the DOJ with more accurate numbers of voting-age citizens. Additionally, more than 1 million Texans who are US citizens live with at least one family member who is undocumented. In 1980, the bureau argued that an immigration question would jeopardize accuracy of the population count.

Even a 1 percent undercount in the 2010 census would have resulted in a $23 million loss in federal funds, according to Rosenblum's office.

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The Census Bureau announced its decision to add the citizenship inquiry after less than four months of consideration.

The suit, as NPR and the Chicago Tribune reports, comes more than a week after California filed a similar lawsuit federal court against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the bureau, and Census Bureau officials.

"It's just another punch to our communities immigrant and minority communities that are already struggling with limited or scarce resources", Garduno-Garcia said.

As for the effect on counting the 43 million foreign-born people in the USA, including an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, critics say even those who are citizens or who reside here legally could be reluctant to fill out the household-wide survey if others in their home are undocumented. The District of Columbia uses U.S. Census information to draw ward, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and voting precinct boundaries. It also states that the new question violates the Administrative Procedure Act and does not follow the Census Bureau's standards for accepting new questions. It asked for a ruling that the citizenship demand is unauthorised and unconstitutional. Immigrants account for 9.6 percent of Oregon's population, the suit claims, and in 2014, around 32 percent of immigrants in OR were undocumented.

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