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You might not be alarmed by the Trump administration’s recent decision to ask you about your citizenship status on the 2020 United States Census. Because you’re a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, you may think this question won’t have any bearing on your life.

But New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants you to know that Trump’s decision to ask census respondents about their citizenship status will have tremendous consequences for millions of Americans — whether they’re undocumented immigrants or not.

“You will lose money from the federal government” because of this question, Schneiderman warned. “Your schools will lose funding. Housing funding, transit funding, health care funding that goes into your community will be cut back. You may lose congressional representation — and maybe a vote in the Electoral College.”

That’s why Schneiderman, joined by 17 other state attorneys general, is suing the Trump administration over its decision to add that citizenship question to the census.

According to Schneiderman, the citizenship question represents an unconstitutional and unprecedented attempt to punish localities with more hospitable policies toward undocumented immigrants.

“Having an accurate count of the census is essential to many, many functions of government and to our democracy,” he explained. “The Trump administration is breaking with this centuries-old bipartisan tradition and trying to put a question in the census that they know would depress participation.”

“Since the founding of the United States, presidential administrations, Republican, Democrat, have all tried to comply with the constitutional requirement that the census counts every person in the United States,” Schneiderman added. “Not all voters, not all citizens. Every person. The census count is used to determine political representation, how many congressmen a state gets, votes in the Electoral College and... hundreds of billions of dollars in funding. Funding for transportation, for health care, for schools — that’s all determined by the census count.”

In an exclusive video op-ed for Mic, Schneiderman makes the case for why this matters to you. Watch it above.

Anthony Smith
Senior writer