DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s U.S. senators and a congresswoman are voicing their support for testing a Middle Eastern and North African descent category on the census.

Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters and Rep. Debbie Dingell of Dearborn sent a letter this week backing testing to the director of the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau said last month that it would test the change by holding focus groups if it got enough positive feedback from the public.

The legislators write in the letter that the Middle Eastern and North African classification would “ensure the proper allocation of government resources.”

Arab-Americans, who make up the majority of the proposed classification, have previously been classified as white on the census by default. Congress would have to approve the proposal for it to be added to the 2020 census.

 

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