DOJ pushing for citizenship question on census forms: report

DOJ pushing for citizenship question on census forms: report
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking the Census Bureau if a question on citizenship status could be added to 2020 census forms, according to a letter first reported by ProPublica on Friday.

The DOJ letter, dated Dec. 12, said including a question on citizenship would allow the the department to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

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“To fully enforce those requirements, the Department needs a reliable calculation of the citizen voting-age population in localities where voting rights violations are alleged or suspected,” the letter said.  

However, critics say including a question on immigration could prevent immigrants from participating in the census due to fears the government could use the information against them. 

The letter was drafted by Arthur Gary, a lawyer at the DOJ, to Census Bureau official Dr. Ron Jarmin. 

A spokesperson for the Census Bureau confirmed the letter to ProPublica, saying the “request will go through the well-established process that any potential question would go through.”

The Hill has reached out to the Justice Department for comment. 

The letter comes after reports in recent months that the Trump administration plans to include an immigration-related question in the census.