Homeland Security to share citizenship data on U.S. residents with Census Bureau

The Department of Homeland Security will provide citizenship information with the U.S. Census Bureau as part of President Donald Trump’s order to collect data on who is a citizen after the Supreme Court rejected a citizenship question on the 2020 Census form.

As the president’s order comes under challenge in federal court, DHS officials two weeks ago announced they had reached the agreement in a report.

It said the agency would be sharing information records with the Census Bureau in order to determine the number of citizens and non-citizens living in the United States, as well as the number of people in the country illegally.

The DHS document said that information being shared will including personally-identifiable data.

President Trump ordered the Census Bureau to collect citizenship information via administrative records and from other federal agencies as well as from the 50 states after the nation’s highest court ruled against him last summer.

The White House said the president wanted the question added in order to aid in enforcing the Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities’ access to polling stations.

The 2020 Census will assist in determining how many congressional seats will be apportioned to the state as well as the distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal funds annually.

Groups are challenging the order to collect citizenship data via federal and state administrative records in federal court in Maryland.

As part of the order, the Census Bureau has requested state drivers’ license bureaus for records, but so far only Nebraska has agreed to cooperate.

“Whether that approach is permissible will be resolved when a state actually proposes a districting plan based on the voter-eligible population,” Trump’s order said.

“But because eligibility to vote depends in part on citizenship, states could more effectively exercise this option with a more accurate and complete count of the citizen population.”

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