However, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, applauded the change.
But as far as the "chilling effect" those questions could have on immigrants, his group advises states and cities to take a "hard look" at their own citizenship question policies and recommends they should be abandoned. The population numbers gleaned from the head count will shape the boundaries of congressional districts, along with how many congressional representatives are allotted to each US state.
Nevada won a fourth House seat after the 2010 census.
Even after that, the Census Bureau continued to ask a citizenship question in the ACS, but only of a small percentage of households.
Including a question about citizenship status on the 2020 census threatens to undermine the accuracy of the once-per-decade federal head count - a gamble the country can not afford to take.
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new component of the 2020 census Monday night, requiring that American residents disclose their citizenship status - a question that hasn't been featured on census surveys since 1950. The Department of Justice had requested the citizenship question to help it enforce the Voting Rights Act. But the value of the citizenship data, he wrote, outweighed concerns of a drop. For data to be accurate, residents must give responses that are in line with the facts.
The citizenship question drew strong rhetorical and legal fire from Democratic leaders.
The NAACP is spearheading a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Census Bureau and President Donald Trump, saying the federal government is unprepared for the 2020 Census, and that will lead to a massive undercounting of African-Americans. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a lawsuit in the name of 19 state attorneys general and Colorado. The lawsuit will challenge the Administration's decision to add the question to the Census on constitutional and statutory grounds. "California simply has too much to lose for us to allow the Trump Administration to botch this important decennial obligation", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
Having an accurate count of USA residents, as well as information on their demographic characteristics, is important for a number of reasons.
"Having citizenship data at the census block level will permit more effective enforcement of the VRA, and Secretary Ross determined that obtaining complete and accurate information to meet this legitimate government objective outweighed the limited potential adverse impacts", the department said Monday. A bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. would block the addition of a citizenship question, or any major design change, unless it has undergone a certain level of research and testing, but it faces dim prospects with no Republicans signing on. The commerce department had to make the announcement this week.
The fear, is that if a question about citizenship is on the census, a large portion of the estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants in the state won't participate.