Hispanic reps rip citizenship question on 2020 census

Hispanic reps rip citizenship question on 2020 census
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) on Tuesday blasted the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, calling it “dangerous” and “deeply political.”

“The political decision to add an untested and damaging question about citizenship to the 2020 Census at the 11th hour will suppress participation,” CHC Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamPress: Susan Rice would be ready to step in as POTUS Top New Mexico tourism official says mass gatherings may not be possible for 18 months The Memo: Activists press Biden on VP choice MORE (D-N.M.) said in a statement.

“This is yet another action by the Trump Administration to instill fear in communities and further an anti-immigrant agenda,” she added.

Grisham and nearly 20 other members of the CHC signed off on a letter notifying Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOn The Money: US tops 100,000 coronavirus deaths with no end in sight | How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response | Tenants fear mass evictions Ross: Trump considering 'whole menu' of options against China on Hong Kong law OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Government predicts busy hurricane season | Report: BLM says oil and gas operators should set their own royalty rates for public lands drilling | Michigan flooding risks damage to hazardous waste sites: report MORE of their opposition.

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Grisham urged other members of Congress to support legislation that would prevent the citizenship question from being added to the census.

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation Hillicon Valley: Trump threatens Michigan, Nevada over mail-in voting | Officials call for broadband expansion during pandemic | Democrats call for investigation into Uber-Grubhub deal Senate chairman schedules vote on Trump nominee under investigation MORE (D-N.J.), Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Grace MengGrace MengDe Blasio, John Cho, Rep. Grace Meng unite for event to fight racism against Asian Americans NY Democrats call for mortgage forgiveness in next coronavirus relief bill Hillicon Valley: Experts worry U.S. elections vulnerable due to COVID-19 | Report finds states need more federal election funds | Republican senators to introduce coronavirus-related privacy bill MORE (D-N.Y.) have all pledged to push such legislation following Ross’s announcement.

Ross announced his decision Monday night to reinstate the citizenship question in a post on the Commerce website, despite strong objections from Democrats in recent weeks.

The Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Memo: Trump tweets cross into new territory Sessions goes after Tuberville's coaching record in challenging him to debate The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip MORE has pushed for inclusion of the question, arguing that it would allow the department to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Ross argued that the benefits of reinstating the question, which has not appeared on the Census in decades, outweighs concerns over a potential dip in response rate.

Democrats have argued 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.  

A number of Democratic attorneys general said they intend to bring legal action against the Trump administration to stop it from adding the citizenship question.