Minnesota joins lawsuit to block citizenship question on census forms

Minnesota joins lawsuit to block citizenship question on census forms

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.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson says census directors appointed by presidents from both parties have not included a citizenship question since 1950 out of concern that it would result in an inaccurate count.

In a new Rasmussen Reports poll, almost two-in-three Americans, or about 66 percent, said the U.S. Census should ask respondents whether they are citizens of the country. About 100,000, or almost 3 percent of Iowans, live in hard to count neighborhoods, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates.

That could be a big deal for some states, as federal funding, state representatives and congressional districting are determined, in part, by the census.

In December, the U.S. Department of Justice requested the Census Bureau demand citizenship information in the 2020 Census form.

Demanding citizenship information is expected to depress census participation among immigrants, causing a population undercount that would disproportionately harm states and cities with large immigrant communities, Durkan said. It would be the first time in 70 years that the government uses the form sent to every household to ask people to specify whether they are US citizens. As such, they stand to lose federal funding and representation in the House of Representatives unless the citizenship question is removed from the questionnaire. He argues that intent is at odds with the U.S. Constitution's command that the census count every person in the United States. They further allege the policy compromises their ability to comply with constitutional "one man, one vote" standards, which require equal populations among legislative districts.




The survey includes questions about the respondent's citizenship, according to the Census Bureau.

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

In my opinion, your recent editorial about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census is wrongheaded.

"Decisions to change questions on the decennial census typically take several years to test, evaluate, and implement; but defendants' decision here was compressed into a hasty and unprecedented period of less than four months", the complaint states.

In addition to the US Conference of Mayors, New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle joined the lawsuit.

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