Sessions defends census citizenship question as 'common sense'

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

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGOP set to release controversial Biden report Trump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez call for convention to decide Puerto Rico status 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) MoranLobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes 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.