Civil rights lawyers sued the U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday to try to stop plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Manhattan federal court lawsuit on behalf of immigrants’ rights groups says racial animus was behind a recent announcement that the census will include a citizenship question for the first time since 1950. The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others, claims the question intentionally discriminates against immigrants and will increase fear in their communities. It alleges census participation will be depressed, diluting the economic and political power of residents.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the plan in March, saying the question was needed in part to help the government enforce the Voting Rights Act, a 1965 law meant to protect political representation of minority groups. The Commerce Department is responsible for the census.
The plan has resulted in several lawsuits, including one in California, the nation’s most populous state with the highest concentration of foreign-born residents, and another in New York brought by 17 Democratic attorneys general, the District of Columbia, six cities and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Full Article: ACLU Sues over Plans for Citizenship Question on 2020 Census.