What is the US census citizenship question? The controversy explained

Immigration activists rally outside the supreme court as the justices hear arguments over the Trump administration’s plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, on Tuesday.

The government plans to ask people taking part in the 2020 national census if they are US citizens – and the supreme court appears to be leaning in favor of approval. We break down the issue:

What is the citizenship question?

Donald Trump’s administration proposed adding a question to the 2020 US census which would ask: “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” Respondents would have five options, indicating that they were born in the US, born in a US territory, born abroad to US citizen parents, naturalized as a citizen, or not a citizen. The census is conducted every 10 years to count the people living in the US.

Why are states suing to stop it?

They believe many immigrants will not return their census forms if there’s a citizenship status question, out of fear the information could be used against them. That would have major political and financial ramifications: census counts are used to decide how many seats each state gets in the congressional House of Representatives. An undercount of immigrants would especially hurt representation of states such as New York and California. The census numbers also determine how much federal funding states and cities receive. The states argue the plan is unconstitutional.

How does the government explain the question?

The commerce department, which is in charge of the…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.