California AG to sue Trump administration over census citizenship question

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier Becerra23 state attorneys general sue DeVos over student loan forgiveness change Massachusetts sues Lyft, Uber for allegedly misclassifying drivers as contractors California to sue over new Trump student visa restrictions 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 Ross4 states sharing data to help Trump administration determine citizenship status: report On The Money: Cash-strapped cities hammered by COVID-19 beg for federal help | Trump signs bill imposing sanctions on China over Hong Kong | White House campaign advocates new 'pathways' to jobs amid pandemic White House campaign advocates new 'pathways' to jobs amid pandemic MORE announced his decision to reinstate the citizenship question in a post on the Commerce website, despite strong objections from Democrats in recent weeks.

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The Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Campaign Report: New polls show Biden leading by landslide margins The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Fauci touts COVID-19 vaccine news Trump-backed House candidate leads by only 7 votes in key Texas runoff 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) MenendezBottom line Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Thomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski 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 MaloneyHow a progressive populist appears to have toppled Engel Democrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence 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 DavidsonGOP-Trump fractures on masks open up House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA 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."