Dem lawmaker says she will introduce bill to block 2020 census from asking about citizenship

Rep. Grace MengGrace Meng91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill State Democrat group teams up with federal lawmakers to elect down-ballot candidates Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that she is planning to introduce legislation to block a question about citizenship from appearing on the 2020 U.S. census.

Meng said in a statement that the decision to "add this question without any testing at this late stage is deeply troubling and reckless."

She also warned that the question will likely decrease response rates and yield inaccurate results.


"Many immigrants who are fearful of deportation under the current Administration will simply choose to not participate in the census out of fear that the information they provide will be used against them," Meng said in the statement, according to ABC News.

"I will now look to introduce legislation to stop this question from being included on the census."

The comments come after the Commerce Department said Monday that the 2020 census will include a question on citizenship, despite strong objections. 

Democrats have raised concerns that adding the question would result in an inaccurate population count because it would discourage some immigrants from filling out the questionnaire, given the Trump administration's crackdown on those in the country illegally.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced his decision to reinstate the citizenship question in a post on the department's website

The citizenship question has not appeared on the census since 1950, but Ross argued that collecting citizenship data has been “a long-standing historical practice."

Last week, several Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would prevent the census from asking a question about citizenship or immigration status.

“The Trump Administration’s efforts to add a question on citizenship in the 2020 Census is just another one of this Administration’s misguided immigration priorities aimed at sowing fear in American communities and perpetuating anti-immigrant rhetoric,” Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez Masto91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill Historic immigration reform included in House-passed spending bill Cook Political Report shifts three Senate races toward Republicans MORE (D-Nev.) said in a statement last week.

“Our census is intended to provide a full and accurate accounting of this nation’s population, and any attempts to keep immigrants undercounted and minority districts underfunded should not be tolerated.”

Census data are used to redraw House districts and the number of seats each state receives. Data from the census are also used to determine the number of each state's votes in the Electoral College.