March 28, 2018 – Last night, the Trump Administration decided to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census questionnaire. Specifically, the U.S. Census Bureau announced the addition, incorrectly contending that it would “help enforce the Voting Rights Act.”

A mere hours after the announcement was made, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit, the first to do so in the nation. His lawsuit came on the heels of an op-ed he co-wrote with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla for the San Francisco Chronicle:

The size of your child’s kindergarten class. Homeland security funds for your community. Natural disaster preparation. Highway and mass transit resources. Health care and emergency room services. 

Vital services such as these would be jeopardized and our voice in government diminished if the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 count resulted in an undercount. Beyond its constitutional role in redistricting, a proper count conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau shapes our everyday lives. If the bureau is ill-prepared for the job or a count is faulty, every state, every neighborhood, faces the risk of losing its fair share of federal funding for its people and its taxpayers. 

Every 10 years, the bureau must count each person in our country — whether citizen or noncitizen — “once, only once, and in the right place.”

Read the rest of the op-ed here.