Trump's critics say the citizenship question would result in an undercount on the census because immigrants would avoid responding to it.
The law was changed in 1978 to prohibit the Census Bureau from sharing information with other government agencies for a period of 72 years after it collects personal data.
But nobody knows how a question about citizenship status will affect responsiveness to the survey, not even Ross or his colleagues at the Commerce Department. That clause requires the census identify every person in the United States.
Colorado Congressional District 5 candidate, Stephany Rose Spaulding, is anxious that people not responding could lead to inaccurate population counts, which could then skew funding. This decision comes on the heels of a presidential budget request that would have under-funded the Census Bureau by more than $400 million, according to the Administration's own cost estimates, and the nomination - and then withdrawal - of a senior Census official notorious for his defense of extreme partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina and elsewhere.
"Including the question is not just a bad idea-it's illegal", wrote Xavier Becerra, the state's attorney general, in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed.
Beyond improving national statistics, many advocates of equal rights for LGBT people see the changes to the census relationship categories as a symbolic victory.
In simplified form, it means how many people each state elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and how much its share of the federal tax pie each state gets back in return is based on the number of people who live in that state, with the exception of Native Americans and slaves, who counted as less than a person.
Asking people to answer whether or not they are USA citizens on the census-a question that hasn't been included since 1950-could have far-reaching effects.
COMMERCE DEPARTMENT: "Between 1820 and 1950, nearly every decennial census asked a question on citizenship in some form".
A new bill dubbed the 2020 Census IDEA (Improved Data and Enhanced Act) would bar the 2020 US census from including any questions about the citizenship status of those being counted, US Congressman Eliot Engel said in a Twitter message.
Berry said his organization has been working with the Yale Law School Rule of Law Clinic on concerns about the 2020 Census.
A test of the 2020 census questionnaire has already begun in Rhode Island, without the citizenship question. In 2010, the overall census count was highly accurate, but certain populations were undercounted, meaning they were missed in the census totals.
At least 12 states are suing the Trump administration to block the decision. In 2000, the decennial census "long form" survey, which was distributed to one in six people in the USA, included a question on citizenship.
This week, the U.S. Census Bureau, which is part of the Department of Commerce issued a list of categories it plans to track in the 2020 U.S. Census.
"The citizenship question is in the field constantly in the ACS".
The Census Bureau's breakdown of the newly estimated population by race, sex and age has not yet been released, but the 2016 estimate indicated that the strongest growth in population was among the elderly and white and Latino populations.
Wrong. The citizenship question hasn't been on the decennial census since 1950.