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Census 2020: Citizenship Question

Sep 11, 2020

President's Memorandum

On July 21, 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Commerce to provide available data on undocumented immigrants. This data will be used to exclude them from the 2020 Census count when determining apportionment of Congressional seats.

A September 10, 2020 court ruling enjoined the president from including information about undocumented immigrants in the Secretary's report to the president about the 2020 Census. The court's decision will likely be appealed to a higher court.    

Citizenship Question

In 2018, the Secretary of Commerce proposed a mandatory question to ask respondents about their citizenship on the 2020 Census. The stated goal of including the question was to collect data on immigration status to better enforce federal voting rights laws.

On June 27, 2019, by a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court returned the matter of including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form to lower courts for further review. The court determined that including this question on the form would not violate federal law. However, it queried whether the Department of Commerce had given a genuine justification for including the question. Because the Census Bureau had to issue a final form by June 2018, this did not leave time for a response from the Department of Commerce. 

In August of 2018, Colorado Nonprofit Association submitted written comments to the Department of Commerce asking the Department to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census form.

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