And as it is, the Census Bureau itself estimated that its 2010 count undercounted the Latino population in the U.S. by 1.5 percent and the black population by 2.1 percent, numbers that experts say will be much worse with the new question. Now, if you want to have a debate about whether the census should be asking any questions beyond the number of people at any residence and their ages, I'll be happy to take your side if you say no.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma argue that accurate census data is a vital part of the country's democracy.
The State of California, which has a large immigrant population, filed a lawsuit early Tuesday in federal court against the Commerce Department and the Census Bureau.
"This untimely, unnecessary, and untested citizenship question will disrupt planning at a critical point, undermine years of painstaking preparation, and increase costs significantly, putting a successful, accurate count at risk", the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said in a statement.
Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea - it is illegal.
She said the administration made a decision to reinstate the question because it has "provided data that's necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters, and specifically to help us better comply with the Voting Rights Act, which is something that's important and part of this process".
This pre-1950s approach to the census would, of course, lead to an undercount of the "actual Enumeration" required by the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 2 and the consequences would be far more serious than any brief discomfort of recent arrivals.
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Lavrov said the coordinated response was the result of "colossal pressure, colossal blackmail" from the United States. Earlier this month, Britain announced to expel 23 Russian diplomats and freeze Russian state assets in Britain.
In a move denounced by immigrant rights advocates and legal experts as an effort to "undercount communities of color" that could have an enormous impact on the drawing of congressional districts, the Trump administration announced late Monday that the 2020 Census will ask respondents whether or not they are US citizens.
The Commerce Department said the decision came after a "thorough review" of the request from the Justice Department.
But starting in 1950, those questions were moved to the long form of the census. "The reinstatement of a citizenship question will not decrease the response rate of residents who already declined not to respond", Ross wrote in a memo released Monday, brushing off concerns about lower participation.
The census also provides an essential set of data that is used by businesses and government in states and localities. It helps communities determine where to build everything from schools and grocery stores to hospitals. "Particularly in the current national climate, a citizenship question will obviously cause great consternation and discourage participation in the census".
Previously, Becerra and officials from 18 other states told Commerce Secretary Ross threatening a lawsuit if the Census Bureau includes a question about citizenship on its main 2020 Census form.
The census is the latest front in the ongoing legal battle between California and the Trump administration.
"This decision comes at a time when we have seen xenophobic and anti-immigrant policy positions from this administration", said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who co-chairs the House Census Caucus, has introduced a bill that would to block the Commerce Secretary from implementing changes to the decennial census that have not been researched or tested at least three years before census day. The trio said they previously sent a letter to Ross imploring him to add the citizenship question.