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 GrishamGovernors urge Pence to promote mask-wearing Warren top choice for VP for some Black progressives Poll finds Warren most popular Biden VP choice among college students 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: Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' report | Climate change erases millennia of cooling: study | Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' probe report Research finds Uighurs targeted by Chinese spyware as part of surveillance campaign 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) MenendezThomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Trump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO Senate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers MORE (D-N.J.), Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Grace MengGrace MengBowman holds double-digit lead over Engel in NY primary Grace Meng wins NY Democratic primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Primary night in Kentucky and New York 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 Sessions Senate outlook slides for GOP Supreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama Justice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report 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.