Sen. Jack Reed recently wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross about his “deep concern over the inclusion of a citizenship question on questionnaires for the Census Bureau's 2019 Census Test.” Per media reports, he said, “the Census Bureau has not removed these questionnaires from circulation even though there will be no citizenship question on the 2020 Decennial Census.”
Reed urged Ross "to clarify what the purpose of the 2019 Census Test is, in light of the changed circumstances." He further asked:
- What will the Census Bureau do with the data related to citizenship status it collects from the 2019 Census Test?
- How will the Census Bureau use the information gathered on self-response rates, now that the 2020 Census will not include a citizenship question?
- As a citizenship question will not be added to the Decennial Census, what guidance did the Census Bureau provide to all personnel to reassure recipients of the 2019 Census Test form that they are not required to respond to the citizenship question and that the question would not appear on the actual 2020 Census form?
- What is the geographic breakdown of those households that received a questionnaire containing a citizenship question?
Read Sen. Reed’s letter.