Sessions defends census citizenship question as 'common sense'

Sessions defends census citizenship question as 'common sense'
© Greg Nash

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTo understand death behind bars, we need more information White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE on Wednesday said a controversial proposal to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census is "common sense."

“I believe it’s common sense and would be appropriate to ask whether an individual being surveyed is a citizen of the United States or not,” Sessions said in response to a question from Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMicrosoft embraces California law, shaking up privacy debate It's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number Overnight Defense: Top diplomat changes testimony to indicate quid pro quo | Dem offers measure on Turkish human rights abuses in Syria | Warren offers plan to address veteran suicide rates MORE (R-Kan.) at a hearing.

People don't have to answer the question, Sessions continued, and had nothing to fear from its inclusion on the form.

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Last month, the Commerce Department announced that the question would be included in the census for the first time in 70 years.

Critics, including some who advise the U.S. Census Bureau, say that including the question could suppress participation from immigrant communities, and skew the results of the constitutionally mandated poll.

Congressional Democrats have sought documents providing the administration's rationale for the decision.