Trump administration decides not to include citizenship question in 2020 Census

The Trump administration has dropped a controversial plan to add a question about citizenship status on the 2020 census, marking a major victory for civil rights groups who argued that such a move would deter immigrants from taking part in the once-a-decade population count.

The Trump administration's decision comes just days after the Supreme Court blocked efforts to include the question, ruling that the government's justification seemed 'contrived'.

The White House argued it would bolster protections for minority voters.

But opponents said it would deter immigrant households from taking part in the population count.

They said that the citizenship question, which has not been included since 1950, would drive many immigrants to avoid answering out of fear of being caught up in Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who originally directed the Census Bureau to add the question, said in a statement that he was moving ahead with printing the 2020 census despite his disagreement with the court's ruling last week.

"I respect the Supreme Court but strongly disagree with its ruling regarding my decision to reinstate a citizenship question on the 2020 Census," Ross said.

"The Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question. My focus, and that of the Bureau and the entire Department is to conduct a complete and accurate census," he said.

(with news agency inputs)