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

5 Dem senators ask administration not to include citizenship question on census
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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 RossOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs GOP senator demands details on 'damaging' tariffs MORE

Signatories include Democratic Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Senate moderates hunt for compromise on family separation bill Texas official compares Trump family separation policy to kidnapping MORE (Calif.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Fourth Senate Dem calls for Nielsen to resign over family separation policy MORE (Calif.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Inhofe defends Pruitt after criticisms | Agency releases study on water contaminant | Trump rescinds Obama ocean policy Dems press EPA nominees on ethics, climate Overnight Energy: Senate panel sets Pruitt hearing | Colorado joins California with tougher emissions rules | Court sides with Trump on coal leasing program MORE (Del.), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzDem senator: 'Stop pretending' law banning separation of migrant families is hard to pass Hillicon Valley: Judge approves AT&T-Time Warner deal in blow to DOJ | Dems renew push to secure state voting systems | Seattle reverses course on tax after Amazon backlash | Trump, senators headed for cyber clash | More Tesla layoffs Dems question FCC's claim of cyberattack during net neutrality comment period MORE (Hawaii) and Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoHarry Reid undergoes surgery for pancreatic cancer Overnight Energy: House votes to advance Yucca Mountain nuke waste plan | EPA won't reverse danger findings for paint stripping chemical | County sues oil companies over climate How endangered GOP Sen. Dean Heller is seeking to hang on MORE (Nev.)

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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.