The White House said Tuesday that asking a question about citizenship on the 2020 census form is a standard practice that will help protect Americans’ voting rights.
“This is a question that’s been included in every census since 1965 with the exception of 2010, when it was removed,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
She said the administration decided to reinstate the question because it has “provided data that’s necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters, and specifically to help us better comply with the Voting Rights Act, which is something that’s important and part of this process.”
“This is something that has been part of the census for decades and something that the Department of Commerce felt strongly needed to be included again,” she said.
Democrats are blasting the administration for its intention to ask whether people taking part in the census are U.S. citizens. Former Attorney General Eric Holder accused the administration of political motives to discourage participation in the census; California’s attorney general said he is suing the administration to block the move.