Baltimore Mayor Pugh named chair of national task force fighting Census immigration question

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh spent the weekend in Boston at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where she has been named chairwoman of a task force on the U.S. Census that is fighting against a Trump administration plan to ask whether respondents are in the country illegally.

“We’ve joined the lawsuit against having the question about citizenship on the Census,” Pugh said. “We have to be prepared to count people in our cities. We’re asking mayors throughout the country to make sure their voices are heard. The intent of the Census is to make sure every human being living in the United States is counted.”

In April, the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general and six cities in filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration over adding a question about immigration status on the next U.S. Census. The mayors argue the citizenship question would depress responses from states with large immigrant populations, therefore under-reporting residents and possibly losing federal funding for education, infrastructure, health care and more in states such as Maryland and cities such as Baltimore.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, was joined by 18 attorneys general, including Maryland’s Brian Frosh. The plaintiffs argue that the Census Bureau has a constitutional obligation to determine “the whole number of persons in each state” and that demanding citizenship information would depress the count.

Pugh said the task force she leads passed a resolution in support of the lawsuit over the weekend. She returned to Baltimore on Monday.

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