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Seattle Joins Lawsuit to Preserve Fair and Accurate Census

07 April 2018

Joining the lawsuit are six cities, the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors, and 17 other Democratic attorneys general, including Oregon's Ellen Rosenblum, who partnered with Schneiderman to block President Trump's travel ban and DACA cancellation.

"With immigrant communities already living in fear, demanding citizenship status would drive them into the shadows", he added, "leading to a major undercount that threatens billions in federal funding for NY and our fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College". According to the complaint, actual enumeration, "requires that the Census Bureau avoid unnecessarily deterring participation in the decennial census".

Supporters of the plan for the 2020 census argue that obtaining more data on the voting-age population of citizens than current surveys are providing will help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights.

North Carolina is one of seventeen states including the District of Columbia and six cities to sue the US government Tuesday, saying the addition of a citizenship question to the census form is unconstitutional. Ever since 1790, the U.S. Census has sought to provide a fair and accurate accounting of the American population.

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Schneiderman said he is ready to take the case to the Supreme Court but doubts it will need to go that far. 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.

"Adding an untested citizenship question at this point would sabotage the accuracy of the 2020 Census and threaten federal funding for critical programs in MA", said AG Healey. In 2009, three decades' worth of former Census Bureau directors of both parties objected to a congressional proposal to add citizenship and immigration questions to the 2010 census. It asked for a ruling that the citizenship demand is unauthorised and unconstitutional.

Democrats in state and federal governance have disagreed, claiming that the Trump administration is changing the census to serve political ends, as undercounts in states that welcome immigrants would result in those states receiving less funding and less political recognition. It also states that the new question violates the Administrative Procedure Act and does not follow the Census Bureau's standards for accepting new questions. Immigrants account for 9.6 percent of Oregon's population, the suit claims, and in 2014, around 32 percent of immigrants in OR were undocumented.

Seattle Joins Lawsuit to Preserve Fair and Accurate Census