California files lawsuit over citizenship question on 2020 census

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018
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California filed another lawsuit against the Trump administration, this time over what may appear on the 2020 census.

SACRAMENTO (KGO) -- California filed another lawsuit against the Trump administration, this time over what may appear on the 2020 census.

This simple question, "Are you a U.S. Citizen?" is scheduled to appear on the 2020 census and has brought up a series of very complex issues.

"The effects of a citizenship on the census has the effect of discouraging or intimidating non-citizens from participating, " said Alex Padilla, California's Secretary of State.

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This would lead to an undercount in California which, according to lawmakers would be devastating for the state.

"The result would be that California would probably lose a house seat and lose lots of federal dollars," said Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

That's why State Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced he was filing a suit to stop the Trump administration.

"We're hoping that we do is win this lawsuit, remove a very biased question from the census and then do everything we can to get people to participate, expressed Becerra.

Here is an op ed written by State Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla regarding California's lawsuit.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said the information regarding citizenship would help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act.

USF professor Bill Hing says the last time that question was asked was in the 1950 census.

"My guess is that what they are thinking is if someone admits that they are undocumented on the census form, they will follow up to see whether or not the person vote incorrectly, explained Hing.

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The Vice Chair of the San Francisco Republican Party supports Trump's proposal.

"If they are not here legally they shouldn't vote and we have the right to know, " added Howard Epstein.

But if a temporary injunction is granted by a federal judge, while the matter is debated in the courts, the question of citizenship may not appear on the next census.

Click here for the announcement from the U.S. Department of Commerce on reinstatement of citizenship question in 2020 Census.

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