California's top elections official urged residents Tuesday to formally oppose a Trump administration plan that would ask whether a person is a U.S. citizen on the 2020 census.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla and advocacy groups for immigrant, Muslim and other communities warn a citizenship question will discourage immigrants from participating, giving California an undercount in the decennial recording of each state's population. The numbers determine each state's representation in Congress and federal funding.
Padilla called the administration's proposed citizenship question a "blatant effort to intimidate noncitizens from participating in the census."
He has launched a website where Californians can submit public comments on the question directly to the federal registrar, which is taking feedback on the census questions through Aug. 7.
The Trump administration announced in March it would include a citizenship question on the 2020 count, saying the U.S. Justice Department requested it to help with enforcement of voting rights laws. But documents just released through a lawsuit show U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had requested the question months earlier.