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 GrishamThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Democratic governors call on Trump, McConnell to support gun control measures New Mexico says EPA abandoned state in fight against toxic 'forever chemicals' 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 RossOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Group sues Trump administration for info related to 'attempts to politicize NOAA' NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet 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) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-N.J.), Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Grace MengGrace MengHillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Lawmakers call on Amazon to safeguard against unsafe products Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator 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 SessionsDemocrats headed for a subpoena showdown with White House House Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict 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.