Sessions defends census citizenship question as 'common sense'

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

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBarr turned down defense attorney job with Trump: report Paul calls Trump's pick for attorney general's views on surveillance 'very troubling' John Kelly to leave White House at year's end 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) MoranSenators want assurances from attorney general pick on fate of Mueller probe Overnight Defense: Senate rebukes Trump with Yemen vote | Mattis, Pompeo briefing fails to quell Senate concerns with Saudis | Graham demands CIA briefing on Khashoggi | Pentagon identifies three troops killed in Afghanistan McConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe 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.