Dolores Huerta Foundation joins MALDEF lawsuit to block citizenship question from 2020 census

National News

The Dolores Huerta Foundation has joined a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its push to add a question about citizenship status to the 2020 census. 

The foundation joins 22 other nonprofit organizations in the lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which challenges the citizenship question “on the basis of racial discrimination as minority groups could be severely undercounted on the national survey,” according to a news release. 

“Since 1972, the census has been used to count the number of people in the United States and to get basic information,” Dolores Huerta said. “The Trump administration’s new questions on citizenship are meant to suppress the number of people responding, thereby depriving those communities of badly needed funding.” 

MALDEF released a statement on the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday, saying the census question “is intended to severely undercount Latinos, Asian Americans, immigrants and other populations” to “dilute their political representation and federal funding in their communities, in violation of the Fifth Amendment.” 

Thursday’s lawsuit follows another lawsuit against the Trump administration filed Tuesday on behalf of 17 states, Washington, D.C., and six cities, which are also suing to block the question from the 2020 census. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has gone on record in defense of the question, saying it is “necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters.” She also claimed the question had been on every census since 1965, “with the exception of 2010, when it was removed.”  

Though the question was included on the long-form census, only about 17 percent of residents received that version of the census in 2000, the last time the long-form version was distributed. 

Population counts from the census – distributed every 10 years – affect everything from federal funding to how many of the House Representatives’ 435 seats are allocated to each state. 

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