Univision joins lawsuit against 2020 census citizenship question


Spanish-language network Univision on Friday joined a lawsuit against the Commerce Department’s decision to include a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.

The media company signed on to a lawsuit pursued in northern California, challenging the Commerce Department’s authority to add a question on citizenship to the census.

The network in October joined a similar lawsuit in New York.

{mosads}“Every person residing in the United States deserves to and must be counted in the census. Dating back to this country’s founding, there has been no higher purpose to this endeavor than to simply count the number of people living in our nation, regardless of status,” Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Univision’s executive vice president for government and corporate affairs, said in a statement.

The Trump administration’s announcement last year that it sough to add the question to upcoming census has elicited strong pushback from the Hispanic community, many of whom say that asking for respondents’ citizenship could diminish minority participation in the 2020 Census.

The results of the Census are used to determine congressional representation for each state, as well as funding for a slew of federal programs.

The Commerce Department, in charge of running the decennial Census, has said that including a citizenship question will help the federal government maintain a more accurate register of the country’s residents, regardless of citizenship status.

States like New York and California, which host large immigrant communities, would likely see representation and funding diminished were Census figures to undercount their foreign-national populations.

“… the planned 2020 Census includes a question regarding a respondent’s citizenship that the Census Bureau’s officials themselves have admitted will reduce response rates, particularly by naturalized citizens and immigrants,” Herrera-Flanigan said.

“Both government and businesses rely on census data to make an accurate judgment about where to utilize services, place stores or offices, and how to speak to different communities. Simply put, an incomplete count equals erroneous decisions no matter the community,” she added.

Multiple lawsuits been filed since Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s March announcement of the citizenship question, arguing the Commerce Department didn’t follow the normal procedure of including new questions in the Census.

Latino and Asian-American groups filed suit in May claiming that the question would disenfranchise minority residents who are not citizens, leading to underrepresentation in Congress and the unfair allocation of federal funds to minority communities.

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