Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, appears before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to discuss the 2020 census, in Washington, D.C., in October 2017.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The U.S. government is conducting a test run of the 2020 census in Rhode Island's Providence County, where many noncitizens living in Central Falls, R.I., say they're planning to avoid participating in the national head count.
Many Noncitizens Plan To Avoid The 2020 Census, Test Run Indicates
John Gore, acting head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, (right) shakes hands with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C., in April.
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An envelope contains a test questionnaire for the 2020 census mailed to a resident in Providence, R.I., as part of the nation's only test run of the upcoming national headcount. A Trump administration plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census has prompted legal challenges from many Democratic-led states.
Michelle R. Smith/AP
Signs sit behind the podium before the start of a press conference in New York City about the multi-state lawsuit to block the Trump administration from adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census form.
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Wendy Becker (left) and Mary Norton of Providence, R.I., raise their hands after the 2006 Massachusetts court ruling that allowed same-sex couples from Rhode Island to marry in Massachusetts. For the 2020 census, the couple can choose the new response category for "same-sex husband/wife/spouse."
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From left to right, Tommy Shiels, Dennis Hayden, John Houlihan and Thomas Ring attend the New York Irish Center's weekly luncheon for seniors in Queens, N.Y. Many attendees say they support the 2020 census asking white people about their origins.
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New citizens stand for the U.S. national anthem at a naturalization ceremony in Jackson, Miss., in September 2017. The Census Bureau is considering adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
A demonstrator carries a sign that says "More than 300,000 Negroes are Denied Vote in Ala" to protest then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace's visit to Indianapolis in 1964. The word "Negro" was widely used to describe black people in the U.S. during the early civil rights era.
If the White House approves a proposal to change the way the government collects race and ethnicity data, white people in the U.S. may be asked to check off boxes about their ethnic background. On this 2010 census form, answering "white" was enough to respond to the race question.