Debate continues over citizenship question as 2020 census looms one year away

The U.S. Census is one year away, but it's already causing controversy.

A request by the Trump Administration to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census is before the Supreme Court.

Even former census directors have spoken out against adding the question. They're concerned it might lower the response rate from non-citizens and family members of non-citizens.

But President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that without a citizenship question, the "report would be meaningless and a waste of the $Billions (ridiculous) that it costs to put together!"

The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments this month and a decision is expected in early summer.

The Census Bureau said Monday that it has prepared two versions of the paper and electronic survey for next year: one including the citizenship question and one without it.

There's also a concern that citizens might be hesitant to fill out the census for fear of identifying themselves as part of an ethnic group -- such as Latino or Arab.

The Census Bureau insists that information on individuals is private and can't be shared with other government agencies. But critics point out that the government used census information during WWII to round up U.S. citizens of Japanese descent.

Everyone is required by law to fill out the census or face a fine.

The census is important because it shows where people live. If people don't participate, it would mean less federal money to their city, county or state.

Plus states rely on census numbers to determine congressional representation. Missouri lost a congressional seat during the 2010 census because of a decline in population.

The census will arrive in your mail next March. You can fill it out online, by mail or by phone. This is the first time people will have the chance to respond online.

About 60 percent of the public is expected to immediately respond. Those who don't will be receiving a knock on their door from a Census worker.

To find out more about the Census, check out the bureau's website.

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