Census citizenship question

Census Bureau requests citizenship information from states

A man walking out of Driver License Division in Utah.
Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

The U.S. Census Bureau is requesting information from drivers' license records and public assistance recipients in an effort to make documenting citizenship a key aspect of the 2020 Census, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: The request has alarmed civil rights advocates who believe it will discourage immigrant participation in next year's population count, which will be used to determine congressional seat apportionment and how federal funding is distributed.

States spend big money for 2020 Census

Money sticking out of census box
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

States and cities have set aside bigger budgets than ever to prepare for the once-a-decade population count, with Washington's harsh immigration stance as a backdrop.

Why it matters: While the official Census count doesn't get under way until April, officials worry that immigrants won't complete the necessary forms for fear of retaliation.