States, cities join NY to sue over census citizenship question

18 States Sue Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question

In announcing it, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused the administration of being "out to destroy" the constitutionally mandated count.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler said it was a "brazen attempt by the Trump administration to cheat on the census, to undermine the integrity of the census and to attack states ... to steal electoral votes from those states and give them to more congenial states that will vote Republican".

"There's an enumeration clause in the Constitution that the Census shall be an actual enumeration of the people who are living in each state,": says Frosh, responding to a question about why he believes this requirement is unconstitutional.

Swanson added, "An accurate count of the population is important to establish the rights and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments".

This week the attorneys general of IL and sixteen other states sued in federal court to block the census from adding a citizenship question. "To do it as accurately as possible is one of the constitutional principles at stake".

The complaint, filed by 18 attorneys general, six cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, lays out a damning case against the citizenship question as a matter of policy.

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

In Iowa, the lawsuit claims, even a 1 percent undercount would cost the state $38 million in Medicaid funding.

"Adding a citizenship question will cause the census count to plummet", Curtas said, and the state's already vulnerable for undercounting. Such action is arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the APA. 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.

As a result of the 2010 Census, Washington (state), Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Georgia and SC gained one seat in the House of Representatives, while Texas gained four seats and Florida two seats. In terms of annual allocation, that amounts to significant funding per person for housing, education, health care, infrastructure, transportation projects and several other federally funded programs. This proposal would then limit funds created to support some of the most vulnerable populations in each state, including low-income communities, the elderly, and children-regardless of citizenship.

The citizenship question appears on Page 11 of the submitted document, which was obtained by ABC News, and is the second question on the census form (the first question asks a respondent's age).

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