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The Latest: Massachusetts may join suit over census question

March 27, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 census and the addition of a question on citizenship (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat, tells The Associated Press that he expects his state would also join in a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census. Galvin called the decision an attempt to suppress the count in states such as Massachusetts that have large immigrant populations.

Galvin called the addition of a citizenship question “a blatant attempt by the Trump administration to frighten minority groups away from being counted.” He said he would be consulting with the state attorney general and possibly other states about filing or joining lawsuits.

California has already said it will sue the Trump administration over the decision.

Massachusetts has an all-Democratic congressional delegation and its Electoral College votes have gone to the Democratic presidential nominee in 13 of the last 15 presidential elections.

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12 a.m.

The Commerce Department says the 2020 U.S. Census will include a question about citizenship status.

Commerce says in a press release issued Monday night that the citizenship data will help the Justice Department enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights.

But opponents say the question will discourage immigrants from responding to the census. A coalition of state attorneys general urged the Commerce Department last month to not add such a question, saying it could lower participation among immigrants and cause a population undercount.

The decennial census helps determine political representation in Congress, federal funding of programs and other matters.

Commerce says that between 1820 and 1950, almost every decennial census asked a question on citizenship in some form.

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