Healey Says Mass. Will Sue Trump Administration Over Census Change

Healey Says Mass. Will Sue Trump Administration Over Census Change

Healey Says Mass. Will Sue Trump Administration Over Census Change

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

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says the White House "supports" the decision but it "was made at the department level".

The last time such a question was on the decennial census was 1950, though the question is on the annual American Community Survey, which reaches several million people.

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FILE - In this October 12, 2017, file photo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to discuss preparing for the 2020 Census, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

"Ross's decision follows a request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 decennial census", the department said in a statement. The department said the citizenship information would help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights and helps prevent the unlawful dilution of the vote on the basis of race.

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Becerra and other critics argue that including the question in the once-a-decade census will discourage non-citizens from responding, leading to an undercount that could severely affect the distribution of federal funding and the drawing of congressional districts. An aide to Healey said she already meant to join a multi-state lawsuit, led by the NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman. "We will sue to ensure a fair and accurate Census that counts the people of MA".

Required by the Constitution, the U.S. Census is taken every 10 years. "The administration's decision to add a citizenship question is at best a dramatic misstep, and at worst a politically-motivated move that will undermine a fair and accurate census", Weiser said. Citizenship questions have also been included on prior decennial censuses.

The multi-state lawsuit will argue that a citizenship question would have precisely the opposite effect, driving down participation in immigrant communities.

California's attorney general has said he will try to block the move.

In 2010, the citizenship question wasn't included the full Census.

MA has an all-Democratic congressional delegation and its Electoral College votes have gone to the Democratic presidential nominee in 13 of the last 15 presidential elections. "An undercount would threaten at least one of California's seats in the House of Representatives (and, by extension, an elector in the electoral college.) It would deprive California and its cities and counties of their fair share of billions of dollars in federal funds".

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