Census 2020: U.S. adds controversial citizenship question

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The impending multi-state lawsuit, which is being led by New York's Attorney General, will name the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau as defendants.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Washington.

He added: "For the approximately 70 per cent of non-citizens who already answer this question accurately on the ACS [American community survey], the question is no additional imposition since census responses by law may only be used anonymously and for statistical purposes".

Democratic states with large immigrant populations argue a citizenship question will produce undercounts because fewer people will participate.

"This untimely, unnecessary, and untested citizenship question will disrupt planning at a critical point, undermine years of painstaking preparation, and increase costs significantly, putting a successful, accurate count at risk", she said.

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Ross noted the concerns about lower response rates, including from the Census Bureau itself, but said his department's own review "found that limited empirical evidence exists about whether adding a citizenship question would decrease response rates materially". "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". Under the Constitution, the federal government is required to take an "actual enumeration" of the "whole number of persons one each state" every 10 years, but the Census Bureau also uses samplings to ask more detailed questions of a smaller group of recipients on an annual basis. The administration argues the change would improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. Within hours of the announcement, the Attorney General of California announced he was filing a lawsuit to try to stop the question from being included. NY plans to lead a multi-state lawsuit, he said.

FILE - In this March 15, 2010, file photo, copies of the 2010 Census forms in Phoenix.

Schneiderman believes the question that will appear on the 2020 census form violates the 14th Amendment. Presidential elections could also be affected - A 2015 piece in Politico estimated that illegal immigrants and noncitizen residents give Democrats a net gain of four electoral votes.

Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases Coherent strategy needed beyond limited sanctions to counter Russian aggression House Oversight Dems: GOP blocking request for Trump admin records MORE (D-Md.) is calling on Oversight Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyDem senator introduces bill to publicize Trump officials" flying Gowdy: Trump's lawyers doing "disservice' by framing Mueller probe around collusion House Oversight chairman requests details on Zinke's 9K door MORE (R-S.C.) to hold hearings on the constitutionality of adding a question on citizenship to the USA census. "This lack of national citizenship data on a par with census population data presents several quandaries for voting rights law", Persily said.

Former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder has described the Trump administration action as a "direct attack on our representative democracy" and we inclined to agree.