Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; and Kamala Harris, D-California, members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson requesting more information on the Census Bureau’s processes it uses to include subjects fairly and accurately in the 2020 Census and American Community Survey.

According to the Census Bureau, it received requests in 2016 by several federal agencies to consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity as a subject to the 2020 Census and ACS. The Census Bureau halted its evaluation of whether SOGI should be included in the 2020 Census and ACS after the Department of Justice sent a letter to rescind its earlier request to include SOGI. In the letter, the Senator’s state that these communications raise concerns about the role of the DOJ and its influence on government data collection.

“As you have stated in the past, complete Census data is critical ‘to meet a wide range of federal needs — from providing apportionment and redistricting data as part of our representative democracy, to helping distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds annually,’” the senators wrote. “This is why it is critical that the Census Bureau’s process to include subjects to fairly and accurately count all Americans is impartial and free from undue interference.”

The full letter can be found at bit.ly/2qT7MRn.