U.S. President Donald Trump, center, arrives on day three of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Trump Citizenship Question in Census Prompts States' Lawsuits

(Bloomberg) -- California sued the Trump administration over its plan to ask the citizenship status of participants in the 2020 census, claiming the change will repress responses.

"Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea -- it is illegal," said Xavier Becerra, California’s Democratic attorney general.

The Trump plan, requested by the Justice Department in December and announced on Monday, will undermine the fair distribution of federal tax dollars and potentially impact representation in Congress and the Electoral College for immigrant-heavy states, according to Becerra’s complaint filed late Monday.

The change will make an accurate count of the population impossible, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. New York plans to lead a multi-state lawsuit, he said.

“The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to suddenly abandon nearly 70 years of practice by demanding to know the citizenship status of each resident counted cuts to the heart of this sacred obligation -- and will create an environment of fear and distrust in immigrant communities,” Schneiderman said. 

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