Chicago joined a coalition of USA cities and state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit to block the Trump administration from demanding citizenship information in the 2020 census, its mayor announced on Tuesday. The attorneys general contend that an undercount violates the constitutional goal of the Census - to conduct an accurate count of all people in the nation - which threatens states' fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College, and will deprive states of a fair share of billions of dollars in federal funding.
In my opinion, your recent editorial about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census is wrongheaded.
A citizenship question was included on the Census through much of the 19th and 20th centuries, but the last time it was asked of everyone was in 1950. "This citizenship question is just a scare tactic", Schneiderman said.
The defendants in the lawsuit are the US Department of Commerce, responsible for the census, and the Bureau of the Census.
Swanson also said the census results are used to apportion congressional seats, to establish state legislative districts and to distribute to states an estimated $700 billion per year in federal dollars. And that would lead to an inaccurate count of the population. Former U.S. Census Bureau directors of both parties have historically supported the exclusion of questions relating to citizenship and legal status on this basis.
"The goal of the US census is to count every person living in this country, regardless of immigration status, so the government can most effectively serve the people".
The lawsuit addresses what most fear the result would be of including the citizenship question on the census: that it will depress the amount of people who participate in what should be a count of "whole persons" residing in the country, as specified by the U.S. Constitution.
Their complaint also alleges that the addition of a citizenship question violates the Administrative Procedure Act because there are sufficient citizenship numbers already to enforce the Voting Rights Act and the change does not meet the Census Bureau's own standards for testing new questions. "We're joining it because the proposal to add the citizenship question is illegal and unconstitutional, and the impact that it would have on our state would be extremely disadvantageous", he says.
In Virginia, immigrants account for around 12 percent of the population and 300,000 are undocumented.