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California Is Suing The Trump Administration Over A 2020 Census Citizenship Question
4 weeks ago

It often seems as if the Trump administration wants to bring back 1950 in a general way, though a recent move makes a very specific point regarding the 2020 U.S. census. After spending a full year threatening the DREAMers and firing off travel bans like so many airborne paper towels, it's easy to argue that his overtly nationalist platform is somewhat unfriendly to non-citizens. So bringing back the question "Are you a U.S. Citizen?" on the next census has a lot of folks concerned.

California is the first state to push back:

According to the California lawsuit, the citizenship question would discourage participation and violate the Constitution's mandate for "actual enumeration."

It is long settled that all persons residing in the United States — citizens and non-citizens alike — must be counted to fulfill the Constitution’s ‘actual Enumeration’ mandate.

California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement:

The Census numbers provide the backbone for planning how our communities can grow and thrive in the coming decade. What the Trump administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is an unconstitutional attempt to discourage an accurate Census count.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims the citizenship question would allow the "better enforcement of voting laws," neatly blending Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric with his disprovable claim that "millions voted illegally" in the 2016 election.

Adding a citizenship question would likely keep many people from responding, which would cause undercounts, particularly in communities with large immigrant populations. Inaccurate counts could cost states like California seats in Congress, federal funding based on population, and electoral college votes in presidential elections at a time when many states are redistricting and threatening the gerrymandering that has protected Republican seats nationwide. 

Eric Holder, a former Obama U.S. Attorney General and current head of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, said his group would also file suit. 

"The addition of a citizenship question to the census questionnaire is a direct attack on our representative democracy,” he said in a statement

Many Americans celebrated the lawsuits while announcing they'd boycott the citizen question:

While California is first, it's likely that other states will sue to prevent the citizen question.

H/T: Huffington Post