2020 Census citizenship question cannot ‘go unchallenged,’ AG James says

State Attorney General Letitia James denounced a potential citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census. Holly Pickett/ The New York Times  via AP, Pool, File.

State Attorney General Letitia James denounced a potential citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census. Holly Pickett/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File.

By Jonathan Sperling

New York state Attorney General Letitia James highlighted the need for equal representation in immigrant communities Tuesday in the wake of oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the 2020 U.S. Census citizenship question.

James joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging the question that could prevent many immigrants from completing the Census for fear of being identified as a noncitizen or undocumented immigrant. The Census figures determine federal funding and Congressional representation and fewer people filling out the Census would mean less money for New York City and the potential loss of a House seat.

“This case should be decided on the merits of the arguments and according to the letter of the law. I strongly believe that the facts and the record support our claims and am hopeful that the Honorable Justices will agree,” James said in a statement.

“At the same time, we cannot fail to recognize that—at the heart of this matter—there is more at issue here than just surveys and statistics,” James continued. “It is about how our government is organized, how power is equally divided, and how aid is distributed equitably."