Democrats fear immigrants will skip census with citizenship question

WASHINGTON -- Democrats are worried the Trump administration's decision to ask people about their citizenship in the 2020 Census will cause immigrants to avoid filling out the survey.

That would have political consequences, diluting liberal representation for states that tend to vote Democratic and robbing many communities of federal dollars.

The Congressional Research Service says not since 1950 has the census collected citizenship data from the whole population instead of just a population sample.

The decision to restore the question prompted an immediate lawsuit from California and moves by other states with large immigrant populations to engage in a legal fight.

The Justice Department said the reinstatement of the citizenship question "will allow the department to protect the right to vote and ensure free and fair elections for all Americans."