San Jose, activist group file federal lawsuit over 2020 Census citizenship question

San Jose, activist group file federal lawsuit over 2020 Census citizenship question

Another federal lawsuit [complaint, PDF] has been filed against the US Census Bureau [official website] regarding a controversial citizenship question added to the 2020 Census. The City of San Jose and Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a California non-profit corporation, filed a joint lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California San Jose Division [official website] Tuesday because of a question on the 2020 Census that requires those filling it out to disclose their citizenship status.

The suit argues that this question will lead to a severe undercount of persons living in San Jose—specifically of minority populations, leading to “the unconstitutional and unlawful loss of representation in the United States House of Representatives and millions of dollars of federal funds.”

The complaint highlights that according to the Pew Research Center [website] San Jose is among the 20 metropolitan areas of the US with the largest number of undocumented immigrants. “As of February 2017, the Pew Research Center estimates that as much as 17 percent of San Jose’s population consists of undocumented immigrants,” and therefore will severely impact the city and its residents.

This same question has sparked great controversy and a number of similar complaints. It comes less than a week after seven residents of Maryland and Arizona filed suit over the question. Seventeen states and seven cities filed a lawsuit April 3 over the question, as did a number of organizations, including the NAACP [JURIST reports] in late March.

The suit seeks a permanent prohibition from the Census Bureau’s use of this question in 2020, and a declaratory judgment that the question is unconstitutional under Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 and the Administrative Procedure Act.