Chicago joins lawsuit against Trump administration over citizenship question in census


Jessica Azua, a DACA recipient and member of the Texas Organizing Project, urged undocumented residents to fill out the census form, but skip the citizenship question.

The decennial count of United States residents, which the Constitution mandates to include both citizens and noncitizens, is used to apportion House seats among the states and to redraw both local and state political boundaries.

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joined Schneiderman at a press conference on Tuesday to express her support for the filing.

Under the Constitution, the Census Bureau has an obligation to determine, "the whole number of persons in each state".

"Adding a citizenship question will cause the census count to plummet", Curtas said, and the state's already vulnerable for undercounting.

CT state officials have joined a coalition of attorneys general and cities in filing a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump Administration from demanding citizenship information in the 2020 decennial Census. "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.

A government spokesman did not immediately comment.

Federal officials have said they need the question to help enforce the Voting Rights Act. By placing the question of citizenship front and center, and refusing to properly fund outreach efforts, the Trump administration seeks to turn the census into a tool to intimidate communities of color. According to the NY complaint, the Census "spent nearly ten years developing and testing the content, specific language, and layout of just one proposed change to the question regarding race and ethnicity on the 2020 questionnaire".

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At the news conference, three other New York Democrats criticized the plan.

While the annual American Community Survey does ask about citizenship, the question has not been included in the more detailed census for 70 years.

The attorneys general also argue that the Trump Administration failed to engage in required processes for adding questions to the Census, which typically take years to complete. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, the federal trial court in Manhattan.

"It is unprecedented. It is wrong".

The defendants were the U.S. Department of Commerce, responsible for the census, and the Bureau of the Census.

New York Attorney General Attorney General Eric Schneiderman poses for a photo with members of District Council 37 after a news conference, Tuesday, in which Schneiderman announced a new lawsuit by seventeen states, the District of Columbia and six cities against the US government.

California's attorney general filed a separate lawsuit last week that seeks to block the citizenship question from being added to the census questionnaire.