NAACP sues Trump for failing to prepare to count minorities in 2020 census

NAACP sues Trump for failing to prepare to count minorities in 2020 census

The NAACP is suing President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE and his administration for failing to take steps to fully count minorities during the upcoming 2020 census, saying that undercounting will cause minority communities to be underfunded.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, claims that undercounting those communities will impact how funding is given to governments in those areas and how district maps are drawn.

The civil rights organization sued along with Prince George’s County in Maryland, a majority African-American county located outside of Washington, D.C. The plaintiffs are demanding the U.S. Census Bureau provide enough funding for the 2020 census for it to be as accurate as possible.

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NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement that the parties are demanding that the 2020 census “does not systematically undercount communities having large African-American populations, such as inner-city neighborhoods, while substantially overcounting communities that are less racially diverse.”

“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,” Johnson continued.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III also said in a statement that accurately counting the county’s population is “critical” to its federal funding, political representation and operations.

“A vast majority of the residents of Prince George’s County are members of this nation’s historically disenfranchised populations. We cannot let this continue in 2018, 2020, or any year moving forward,” Baker said.

The lawsuit calls on the court to require that the Census Bureau "propose and implement, subject to this Court's approval and monitoring, a plan to ensure that hard-to-count populations will be actually enumerated in the decennial census." 

The lawsuit comes just days after the Trump administration announced it would be including a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, drawing intense criticism from Democratic states and civil rights groups, including the NAACP.

Several blue states have already sued over the census question, arguing that including the question could cause immigrants in the country illegally to avoid the census and lead to undercounting of residents in some areas.