The NAACP on Wednesday sued the Trump administration over concerns the 2020 census will not accurately count African-Americans and other people of color, resulting in less federal funding for minority communities, The Hill reports.
The lawsuit, filed in conjunction with Prince George's County in Maryland, comes the same week Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the 2020 census will include a question about citizenship status in order to "provide census block level citizenship voting age population data that are not currently available from government survey data." The citizenship question was asked on most decennial census forms until 1950, and has been asked on the yearly American Community Survey form.
"The census must not serve as a mechanism for diluting the political power of African-American communities and depriving them of their fair share of federal resources for an entire decade," said Derrick Johnson, the NAACP president and CEO. "We are prepared to fight against any plan that effectively turns the census into another form of voter suppression and economic disempowerment in our communities."
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also filed lawsuits challenging the inclusion of the citizenship question.
"When the Census Bureau undercounts my community, we lose political power, and fewer of our federal tax dollars end up coming home to fix our roads, run our schools, and fund our federal programs," said Brian Ross, president of the NAACP's Prince George's County Branch and a plaintiff in the case. "We felt these effects in the aftermath of the 2010 census, and all signs indicate that the 2020 Census will be even worse."
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