>> The State of New York plans to challenge the Trump administration's controversial decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. State Attorney, General Eric Schneiderman, announced Tuesday he'll lead a multi-state lawsuit to stop the move, arguing it will create a climate of fear and discourage immigrants from participating in the census.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Monday that the US will once again ask respondents whether or not they're US citizens, a question that hasn't been asked consistently since 1950. Reuters Washington correspondent Andy Sullivan.>> The census is supposed to be a technical non-partisan exercise, but there are signs that it's turning it into a partisan battle like any other, wrapping up issues of race, ethnicity, and immigration status, these things that have been so prominent in Trump's first year in office.
Now an accurate count is super important. The government uses it to figure out how to draw legislative boundaries, and businesses use it to figure out where they wanna put stores when they're trying to expand.>> Ross says he's acting at the behest of the Justice Department in looking to better enforce the Voting Rights Act, the more than 50 year old landmark legislation that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
But immigration proponents say a question about citizenship could further discourage immigrants from participating in the count. Particularly in the current climate, with President Trump looking to crack down on illegal immigration. The State of California also took action on Tuesday, filing a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction.>> Immigrants and minority groups and poor people tend not to participate already.
So there's a problem with undercounting to begin with. And that can impact states like California, which have a big immigrant population. If those people are undercounted, California could potentially end up with fewer people representing that state in Congress.>> Ross said no evidence was provided to the census bureau that showed a citizenship question would decrease response rates among those who already, quote, generally distrusted government, dislike the current administration or feared law enforcement.