This has been an ongoing issue that will affect future genealogists. In short, the Census Bureau proposed adding a question asking for each U.S. resident’s citizenship status in the 2020 census forms. A privacy and civil liberties nonprofit group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, responded by launching a lawsuit against the government claiming that the US Census Bureau was required to first complete a privacy impact assessment. The Electronic Privacy Information Center then asked for an immediate injunction be issued to prevent the Census Bureau from going forward with the citizenship question until the issue had been decided in the courts..
On Friday, US District Judge Dabney Friedrich declined to issue a preliminary injunction. The Electronic Privacy Information Center said in a statement it “intends to press forward with” its lawsuit.
A citizenship question has been asked of census respondents before, but not since 1950.
A side issue is that this issue caused a lot of controversy and a Justice Department filing in the case shows that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross allegedly lied in his testimony before a Congressional committee. Ross claimed the Justice Department had requested the question, not anyone in the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Department. However, earlier email messages clearly show that Ross had previously discussed the citizenship question with White House officials, a fact that he later denied in his testimony before Congress.
You can read more and watch a video about this issue in the CNN web site at: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/09/politics/census-2020-citizenship-question/index.html.