Immigration Law

19 AGs and Colo. Gov. Ask Commerce to Nix Citizenship Question on Census - Letter

Letter dated Feb. 12, 2018 - "We, the undersigned Attorneys General of New York, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the Governor of Colorado, write to oppose the recent request by the Department of Justice to add  a question on citizenship to the questionnaire for the 2020 decennial Census.  Adding a citizenship question – especially at such a late date in the 2020 Census planning process – would significantly depress participation, causing a population undercount that would disproportionately harm states and cities with large immigrant communities. This undercount would frustrate the Census Bureau’s obligation under the Constitution to determine “the whole number of persons in each state,” threaten our states’ fair representation in Congress, dilute our states’ role in the Electoral College, and deprive our states of their fair share of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds that are allocated in part on decennial Census data.  Indeed, as the Census Bureau has itself previously explained, “any effort to ascertain citizenship” in the decennial Census “will inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count.” "