"Earlier this year, I joined with attorneys general from around the country in urging the Secretary of Commerce to abandon this proposal, and today I am joining multistate litigation, led by the NY attorney general, to challenge the inclusion of this question on the census". They say that a nationwide, person-by-person citizenship inquiry will actually harm minority representation by driving down participation among both citizens and noncitizens in immigrant communities-a concern that is even more acute in today's political climate. "Adding a citizenship question to the Census form has a deliberate and intended chilling effect on participation", Rosenblum said.
The lawsuit accused the Trump Administration of violating the Constitution's requirement that the government conduct an "actual enumeration" of the "whole number of persons" every 10 years.
A group of USA states and cities sued the Trump administration to stop it from asking people filling out 2020 census forms whether they are citizens.
Rosenblum joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in New York City to announce the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. This, in turn, could diminish the states' representation in Congress and threaten billions of dollars in federal funding for infrastructure.
Several states that have slowing population growth or high numbers of immigrants such as California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and OH are typically at risk of losing U.S. House seats when their congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years - depending on how fully their residents are counted.
Seventeen states, Washington, D.C., six major cities and the United States Conference of Mayors filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Tuesday over its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, saying the the question will "fatally undermine the accuracy of the 2020 Census" and "jeopardize critical federal funding needed by states and localities to provide services and support for millions of residents". It is also brought under the Administrative Procedure Act, which permits courts to set aside unlawful or arbitrary and capricious agency decisions.
In 1980, the Census Bureau rejected the addition of a citizenship question, saying, "Any effort to ascertain citizenship will inevitably jeopardize the overall accuracy of the population count".
The lawsuit comes amid a series of disputes between the Trump administration and blue states on the subject of illegal immigration.
The NAACP says the plans for the census will lead to a massive undercounting of blacks. The state received over $953 million in Highway Trust Fund grants, over $131 million in Urbanized Area Formula Grants, and almost $64 million in Child Care Development grants in fiscal year 2015, all based on census data, Herring's office said.
The decennial census is also used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives, and each plaintiff state relies on population information from the Census Bureau to draw statewide redistricting plans for their Congressional and state legislative districts. It asked for a ruling that the citizenship demand is unauthorized and unconstitutional. As a result, an undercount of population in states that are home to large immigrant communities will impair fair representation, a principle fundamental to the fabric of our democracy.