The addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is just one more way that Republicans are trying to undermine democratic elections in America, as well as a way to strip federal money from states that don’t share the same visceral hatred for immigrants which has defined the Trump administration. Not surprisingly, the decision is getting some getting pushback.
Last night, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit almost immediately after the announcement that his state would sue the Trump administration. And tonight, the New York Times reports that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (a frequent foe of the Trump administration) would lead a coalition of states in suing the administration over the question.
Other states who said they’d join New York’s effort are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington.
The Commerce Department led by Secretary Wilbur Ross argues that “having citizenship data at the census block level will permit more effective enforcement of the [Voting Rights Act],” which is rather disingenuous considering the Trump administration has relentlessly attacked voting rights over the past fourteen months.
Schneiderman said in a statement said that adding the citizenship question to the Census would threaten “billions in federal funding for New York as well as fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College.”
“A fair and accurate count of all people in America is one of the federal government’s most solemn constitutional obligations,” Schneiderman said. “The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to suddenly abandon nearly 70 years of practice by demanding to know the citizenship status of each resident counted cuts to the heart of this sacred obligation – and will create an environment of fear and distrust in immigrant communities that would make impossible both an accurate Census and the fair distribution of federal tax dollars.”