NPR

Trump's Proposed Census Citizenship Question Bucks Centuries Of Precedent

Never before has the U.S. census directly asked for the citizenship status of every person living in every household. The question the Trump administration wants on the 2020 census could change that.
Never before has the U.S. census directly asked for the citizenship status of every person living in every household in the United States. A citizenship question that the Trump administration wants on the 2020 census could change that. Above, newly sworn-in U.S. citizens recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at Mount Vernon in Virginia. Source: Saul Loeb

The history of the U.S. census asking about people's citizenship status is complicated.

Many of the stops and starts have been unearthed as part of the legal battle over the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

At the Supreme Court last month, Solicitor General Noel Francisco that a question about citizenship has "a

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