"With immigrant communities already living in fear, demanding citizenship status would drive them into the shadows, leading to a major undercount that threatens billions in federal funding for New York and our fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College. I’m proud to lead this coalition in the fight for a full and fair Census," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
The lawsuit argues that under the US Constitution, the Census Bureau must determine the whole number of persons living in each US state and demanding information on citizenship from respondents would decrease the number of participating immigrants.
Critics have also said that asking Census respondents for their citizenship will disproportionately harm states and cities with large immigrant communities.
Schneiderman noted in the release that one of the US federal government’s most solemn obligations is to provide a fair and accurate count of all people in the United States, citizen and non-citizen alike.
"For decades, administrations from both [major] political parties have treated this constitutional requirement with the respect and reverence it deserves. Now the Trump administration is breaking with that tradition — recklessly abandoning nearly 70 years of practice by demanding to know the citizenship status of each resident counted," Schneiderman stated.
In addition to the US Conference of Mayors, New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle joined the lawsuit.