Worried about the census?

Should I be worried about my immigration status? 

No. The 2020 census will not include a question about citizenship status.

The census is ideally supposed to count every person residing in the United States — citizens, noncitizen legal residents and unauthorized residents. The Trump administration had sought to include this question, but was blocked from doing so by the U.S. Supreme Court: Is this person a citizen of the United States? 

Chief Justice John Roberts didn’t have a problem with the question itself but rejected the administration’s “contrived” reason for the change.

A citizenship question won’t be included on 2020 census forms. But other Census Bureau surveys do ask about a person’s U.S. citizenship status.

The issue isn’t new. Before 1950, the census survey given to all respondents asked foreign-born residents if they were naturalized citizens. From 1960 to 2000, a citizenship question appeared in a separate Census Bureau survey that went to a limited number of households every 10 years. In 2010, that survey was replaced with a new format called the American Community Survey, which asks a rotating sampling of residents a citizenship question on an annual basis.

What about households with some undocumented residents? 

The Census Bureau is required by law to keep personal information confidential. Answers cannot be used for law-enforcement purposes or to determine eligibility for government benefits. And personal information can’t be used for the purposes of immigration enforcement.

What if I don’t speak English?

The state is encouraging participation by providing materials for the top 12 languages spoken in California apart from English: Spanish, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Armenian, Farsi, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Punjabi and Khmer.