The U.S. Census count is two years away, but the return of a controversial citizenship question has prompted New Mexico’s attorney general to file a lawsuit.
New Mexico along with 17 other states and seven cities, including Washington DC, is suing the Trump Administration over the census question.
Alex Curtas, the Communications Director for the Center for Civic Policy, said the question is unconstitutional and New Mexicans should be concerned regardless of their immigration status.
“Adding a citizenship question will cause the census count to plummet,” Curtas said, and the state's already vulnerable for undercounting. Because of the current political climate, he said, some people aren't interested in taking the survey. “This kind of exacerbates that and has a kind of a chilling effect on who will actually respond to the census.”
New Mexico receives $6 billion annually based on the census, and Curtas said an undercount would mean losing millions of dollars and could effect congressional representation.
Federal officials have said they need the question to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.