Sessions defends census citizenship question as ‘common sense’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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 Moran (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.
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.