From the Los Angeles Times by Brianna Cea and Thomas Wolf:
Later this month, the Supreme Court will take up Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ controversial decision to collect the citizenship status of everyone in the country in the 2020 census. In court filings, the Trump administration has defended the citizenship question as normal and inoffensive, part of an “unbroken tradition” whose “pedigree dates back nearly 200 years.”
But look closer, as we did, and history tells a different story. Over the last year, we pored over archival material including 19th century census-taker instructions and decades-old papers on government statistics. We discovered that the Trump administration’s history is misleading, where it’s not outright false.
Never in the census’ 230-year history has the decennial questionnaire asked for the citizenship status of everyone in the country. In reality, when a citizenship question was asked at all, it was directed to small segments of the population, such as foreign-born men 21 or older (1890-1910) or foreign-born people (1930-1950), mainly to gauge how well they were assimilating.
Full report is found here.