California AG to sue Trump administration over census citizenship question

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraDem added to Ways and Means Committee amid desire for more Hispanic members Judge blocks Trump contraception rule in 13 states Overnight Health Care: Judge pauses ObamaCare appeal amid shutdown | Trump officials consider Medicaid block grants for states | HHS closing tent city for migrant teens MORE (D) said late Monday he is filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to include a question on citizenship in the 2020 census. 

"We're prepared to do what we must to protect California from a deficient Census. Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea — it is illegal," Becerra said in a statement.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossThe Hill's Morning Report - Shutdown drama shifts to Senate Trump cancels delegation's trip to Davos amid shutdown Trump administration to appeal ruling against 2020 census citizenship question MORE announced his decision to reinstate the citizenship question in a post on the Commerce website, despite strong objections from Democrats in recent weeks.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWe can end the shutdown with billion — Trump and Democrats already agree on border security Nadler sends Whitaker questions on possible contacts with Trump over Mueller probe Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies MORE has pushed for inclusion of the question, arguing that it would allow the department to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Hours before the decision was announced, an op-ed penned by Becerra and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) was published that argued including the question would disproportionately affect California, which has several large immigrant communities. 

However, Democrats have expressed concerns that adding the question would result in an inaccurate population count because it would discourage some immigrants from filling out the questionnaire, given the Trump administration's crackdown on those in the country illegally. 

Several lawmakers voiced opposition to the announcement on Monday night.

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president More oversight of America’s international media networks a good idea Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems MORE (D-N.J.) used the announcement to promote a bill he and other Senate Democrats introduced that would prohibit the census from asking about citizenship or immigration status. 

Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) also vowed to present an amendment to eliminate the citizenship question.

Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyCorporate diversity is just another misguided policy from Democrats House Dems staffing up ahead of likely Trump investigations: report Five things to know about Ocasio-Cortez’s 'Green New Deal' MORE (D), who represents parts of New York City, said Ross “deliberately compromised the integrity of the Census for political purposes.”

But GOP Rep. Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonWashington must defend American crypto innovation, not crush it GOP lawmaker unveils bill soliciting private contributions to pay for border wall Fractious GOP vows to unify in House minority MORE (Ohio) spoke out in favor of the Trump administration's decision, arguing representation in the House "should be based on citizens, not on residents."