The White House may still be seeking immigration and citizenship status questions on the 2020 Census.

According to a letter disclosed just before New Year's by an activist news site, the Department of Justice wrote to the Census Bureau on December 12 to formally request, "that the Census Bureau reinstate on the 2020 Census questionnaire a question regarding citizenship, formerly included in the so-called “long form" census."

The last Census long form, in the 2000 Census, asked "Is this person a CITIZEN of the United States?" and "When did this person come to live in the United States?" Of course, counter to what the Justice Department implies in the letter, such questions were not asked of the whole population, only the 10 percent who received the long form (just like the same percentage who receive it now over the course of a decade in the American Community Survey (ACS), which replaced the long form).

The Justice Department letter claimed that the "data is critical to the Department’s enforcement of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and its important protections against racial discrimination in voting. To fully enforce those requirements, the Department needs a reliable calculation of the citizen voting-age population in localities where voting rights violations are alleged or suspected."

The Insights Association opposes adding questions to the decennial at this point, since it would likely increase the costs for and impede the conduct of the 2020 headcount.