Hansi Lo Wang

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Thursday he would sign an executive order to obtain data about the U.S. citizenship and noncitizenship status of everyone living in the United States.

In a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump said he would drop efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Instead, his executive order will direct all U.S. agencies to provide the Department of Commerce all information they have on U.S. citizenship, noncitizenship and immigration status.

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Sen. Cory Booker is proposing a preemptive strike against using a citizenship question on the 2020 census in a way that he says could give Republicans a political advantage.

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Hours after the Supreme Court ruled to keep a citizenship question off 2020 census forms for now, President Trump threatened to delay next year's national head count.

Asked by a reporter for how long he would delay the census until a citizenship question is allowed, Trump did not give an answer.

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Updated June 13 at 10:20 a.m. ET

Advocacy groups that sued to block the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to delay issuing a ruling on the question's fate.

Challenges threatening the upcoming 2020 census could put more than 4 million people at risk of being undercounted in next year's national head count, according to new projections by the Urban Institute.

Updated at 10:53 p.m. ET

A major Republican redistricting strategist played a role in the Trump administration's push to get a citizenship question on forms for the 2020 census.

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.

Updated April 25 at 5:28 p.m. ET

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court appear split along ideological lines on whether a citizenship question can be included on forms for the upcoming 2020 census.

Based on their questions during Tuesday's oral arguments at the high court, the justices appear ready to vote 5-4 to allow the Trump administration to add the hotly contested questions to forms for next year's national head count.

Updated April 8 at 6:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's plans to add a hotly contested citizenship question to the 2020 census have suffered another major blow in the courts.

The question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

A third federal judge has found the decision to include it on forms for the national head count to be unlawful.

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Steven Dillingham, the new director of the U.S. Census Bureau, is refusing to step into the controversy surrounding a potential question for the upcoming national head count.

The hotly contested question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

Updated April 1 at 9:15 a.m. ET

The federal government is getting ready to ask some personal questions for the 2020 census. By next April 1, the Census Bureau plans to send a letter or a door knocker to every U.S. household. It's part of a once-a-decade tradition of counting every person living in the U.S.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, is set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
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Commerce Secretary Wilbur

The Senate has voted to fill the top post at the U.S. Census Bureau with President Trump's nominee Steven Dillingham.

In a unanimous voice vote on Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Dillingham's nomination, which the White House first announced last July. He previously led smaller federal agencies, including the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Eileen Okada was 5 years old when the U.S. government forced her and her family to live in a stall made for horses.

"I remember the stench. They cleaned it out, of course, but didn't scrub it down. The smell was still there," says Okada, now 81 and a retired elementary school teacher and librarian.

Early in the Trump administration, senior officials discussed bringing back a controversial question topic that has not been included in the census for all households since 1950 — U.S. citizenship status.

The policy idea became reality this March, when — against the recommendations of the Census Bureau — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used his authority over the census and approved plans to add the question, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

Updated Nov. 2, 7:50 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has refused to postpone the start of the first trial over the controversial citizenship question it added to the 2020 census.

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Updated 6:25 p.m. ET Friday

The Supreme Court has temporarily shielded Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to sit for questioning under oath in the lawsuits over a controversial citizenship question the Trump administration added to the 2020 census.

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We ride along next with search-and-rescue teams after Hurricane Michael. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang traveled through Florida's Jackson County with a crew from FEMA.

Updated Sept. 18

The Justice Department, which the Trump administration says needs the controversial citizenship question added to the 2020 census, initially did not want to make the request, according to newly unredacted portions of a memo.

Updated September 14

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his staff prepared to embark on a legal fight that would take them to the highest court in the U.S. long before announcing the controversial decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

A group of Democratic senators have introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require the U.S. census and the country's largest survey to start directly asking about sexual orientation and gender identity.

If the Census Equality Act becomes law, sexual orientation and gender identity questions would have to be added to forms for the census by 2030 and for the American Community Survey — a survey that about 1 in 38 households are required by federal law to complete every year — by 2020.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

A few months after he started leading the Commerce Department, Secretary Wilbur Ross became impatient. As a powerful decider for the U.S. census, he had a keen interest in adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census as soon as possible.

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