DOJ Trying to Add Citizenship Question to Census: Report

The Department of Justice is trying to add a 2020 census question asking respondents to identify their citizenship status, according to a letter obtained by ProPublica. In the letter sent earlier this month to the Census Bureau, the DOJ argued that the proposed question was needed to gather information to better enforce the Voting Rights Act. But experts told ProPublica the question could have a chilling effect on immigrants answering the census. “People are not going to come out to be counted because they’re going to be fearful the information would be used for negative purposes,” Steve Jost, a former top Census Bureau official told ProPublica. Officials also voiced concern that the proposed question had come too late to be properly vetted for its effect on census responses.