5 Dem senators ask administration not to include citizenship question on census

5 Dem senators ask administration not to include citizenship question on census
© Getty Images

Five Democratic Senators asked the Trump administration on Friday to reject a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. 

"The inclusion of a question on citizenship threatens to undermine the accuracy of the Census as a whole, and given this administration’s rhetoric and actions relating to immigrants and minority groups, the DOJ request is deeply troubling," the senators wrote in a letter addressed to Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOvernight Energy: EPA says Pruitt's security detail flies first class | Lackluster offshore drilling sales | Oil companies snag leases near Bears Ears monument Washington VIPs gather to celebrate Mark Penn's new book DeVos battles lawmakers in contentious hearing MORE

Signatories include Democratic Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinJeh Johnson: Media focused on 'Access Hollywood' tape instead of Russian meddling ahead of election What’s genius for Obama is scandal when it comes to Trump Coalition presses Transportation Dept. for stricter oversight of driverless cars MORE (Calif.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOvernight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica | Senators grill DHS chief on election security | Omnibus to include election cyber funds | Bill would create 'bug bounty' for State Supreme Court must agree with California and end lies spread by fake women's health centers Senate confirms Trump's border chief MORE (Calif.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperWarren turns focus to Kushner’s loans Overnight Energy: Dems probe EPA security contract | GAO expands inquiry into EPA advisory boards | Dems want more time to comment on drilling plan Overnight Regulation: Senate takes first step to passing Dodd-Frank rollback | House passes bill requiring frequent reviews of financial regs | Conservatives want new checks on IRS rules MORE (Del.), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDems offering bill aimed at curbing stock buybacks Overnight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian Feinstein faces new pressure from left over CIA nominee MORE (Hawaii) and Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoOvernight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support Lawmakers demand explanation from United over pet deaths MORE (Nev.)

The letter went on to say the question could depress census turnout due to fear the government could use the information against participants. 

"This chilling effect could lead to broad inaccuracies across the board, from how congressional districts are drawn to how government funds are distributed," the letter reads. 

"Rather than preserve civil rights, as the Justice Department claims, a question on citizenship in the decennial census would very likely hinder a full and accurate accounting of this nation’s population."

The letter comes after reports surfaced late last month that the DOJ had asked the Census Bureau to include the question on the 2020 Census.

A spokesperson for the Census Bureau said the “request will go through the well-established process that any potential question would go through.”

Speculation had swirled in recent months that the Trump administration was planning to include an immigration-related question in the census.