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Court Rejects Federal Administration’s Attempts to Mandate Citizenship Question on Census

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced a historic victory in a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s decision to demand a question about citizenship information on the 2020 Census. The decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which vacated Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s decision to add the question, states that adding a citizenship question is “unlawful for a multitude of independent reasons.” Attorney General James released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling is a win for New Yorkers and Americans across the country who believe in a fair and accurate count of the residents of our nation. The attempts by the Trump Administration to mandate a question about citizenship were not rooted in a desire to strengthen the census process and would only undermine our immigrant communities. Inciting fear in our residents is not only immoral, but also ill-conceived.

“Accurate population counts are imperative for allocating funding for critical programs and support systems and for determining fair representation in Congress and the Electoral College.

“I’m proud to lead this coalition of Attorneys General, states, municipalities, and immigration groups to ensure our processes are protected and that our federal government is fulfilling its responsibility to serve Americans. We will never stop standing up for the rule of law and the rights of all Americans.”

In April 2018, the New York State Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit to block the Trump Administration from demanding citizenship information in the 2020 Census. New York is leading a coalition of 34 states, cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in this case. The multistate and city suit was consolidated with a case brought by multiple non-profit groups.

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