California AG to sue Trump administration over census citizenship question

California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraProgressive group releases Supreme Court shortlist for 2020 Democrats Trump administration ends five-year oil and gas drilling moratorium in California  Feds won't pursue charges against Sacramento officers who fatally shot Stephon Clark 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 RossDemocrats inch closer to issuing subpoenas for Interior, EPA records Overnight Energy: Dems subpoena Perry in impeachment inquiry | EPA to overhaul rules on lead contamination tests | Commerce staff wrote statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump Commerce staff drafted statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump's hurricane predictions 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 SessionsTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy 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) MenendezHouse to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Senators ask Treasury to probe Brazilian meatpacker with major US footprint 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 MaloneyNew York Democratic congresswoman hospitalized Cast and crew of 'Unbelievable' join lawmakers to advocate for reducing DNA, rape kit backlog O'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats 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 DavidsonFinancial sector's work on SAFE Banking Act shows together, everyone achieves more Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess GOP leaders struggle to contain conservative anger over budget deal 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."