Listen

Wilbur Ross

NOAA's top scientist said Monday that he's investigating why the agency's leadership endorsed President Trump's false tweet that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian, after Birmingham-based meteorologists from the National Weather Service publicly pushed back on it.

Editor's note: This story originally identified the 2020 census questionnaires for American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands as Census Bureau forms that include a question about U.S. citizenship status.

The House of Representatives escalated its confrontation with the executive branch Wednesday by holding two Trump administration officials in criminal contempt for not providing complete copies of subpoenaed documents related to the 2020 census.

The resolution named Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for failing to cooperate with a congressional oversight investigation.

Days after President Trump announced he's no longer pushing for a citizenship question on the 2020 census, officials in his administration are now facing allegations of covering up the question's origins.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Thursday he would sign an executive order to obtain data about the U.S. citizenship and noncitizenship status of everyone living in the United States.

In a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump said he would drop efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Instead, his executive order will direct all U.S. agencies to provide the Department of Commerce all information they have on U.S. citizenship, noncitizenship and immigration status.

Updated on July 9 at 10:08 p.m. ET

A federal judge in New York has denied a request by the Trump administration to replace its legal team in a lawsuit challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman called "patently deficient" the Department of Justice's effort to change out the lawyers, who have been working on the case for more than a year.

Furman is allowing two lawyers to withdraw from the lawsuit. One has left the department and the other has left the civil division.

A federal judge in Maryland is moving forward with a case that claims the Trump administration intended to discriminate against immigrant communities of color by adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

An official says the Justice Department has been instructed to keep looking for a way to ask 2020 census responders whether they are citizens of the United States.

The Supreme Court has left in place a lower court's order to block the question for now.

After the Supreme Court declined to allow the question, tweets by President Trump had sowed confusion about whether he planned to continue the legal fight.

Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

President Trump says he is looking into delaying the 2020 census, hours after the Supreme Court decided to keep a question about citizenship off the form to be used for the head count.

Trump tweeted that he has asked lawyers whether they can "delay the Census, no matter how long, until the United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter."

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

A high-ranking Census Bureau official privately discussed the citizenship question issue with GOP redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller in 2015, according to emails cited in a new court filing in the legal battle over the potential census question.

The Trump administration left behind a long paper trail as it pushed to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

Updated Aug. 27, 2019, 9:55 a.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a wave of new rules and regulations that would make it more difficult for low-income Americans — especially those in families that include non-citizens — to get government aid. NPR detailed many of the proposals in June, but there have been several developments since then.

Updated June 8 at 9:15 a.m. ET

More than a year before the Trump administration formally asked the Census Bureau to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Kris Kobach discussed including the question with officials during President Trump's 2016 election campaign.

A federal judge in New York is delaying his review of allegations that the Trump administration concealed the real reason for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The move puts the focus back on the Supreme Court, which has been expected to issue its ruling on the legal fate of the hotly contested census question by the end of June.

During a brief hearing at Manhattan federal court Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman called the allegations by plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits over the question "serious."

The history of the U.S. census asking about people's citizenship status is complicated.

Many of the stops and starts have been unearthed as part of the legal battle over the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

For the final months of 2020 census preparations to continue as planned, the Census Bureau says it is counting on the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the legal battle over the citizenship question by June. But a new appeal filed by plaintiffs in one of the Maryland lawsuits over the question could complicate that timeline.

Updated April 8 at 6:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's plans to add a hotly contested citizenship question to the 2020 census have suffered another major blow in the courts.

The question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

A third federal judge has found the decision to include it on forms for the national head count to be unlawful.

Updated 7:53 p.m. ET

A second federal judge has issued a court order to block the Trump administration's plans to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of California found that the administration's decision to add the question violated administrative law.

This story is published in partnership with The Center for Public Integrity

Rich businessman Wilbur Ross' promise to divest millions of dollars' worth of assets upon becoming Commerce Department secretary drew warm praise in 2017, even from Democrats.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The decision grants the administration's request for an immediate review of a lower court's ruling that stopped plans for the question. A hearing is expected to be held in April.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross downplayed the hardships caused by a partial government shutdown on Thursday as some 800,000 federal workers prepared to miss a second consecutive payday.

Ross told CNBC he is puzzled by reports of federal workers turning to food banks and other forms of relief, suggesting they should be able to obtain bridge loans to tide them over until the government reopens.

The Trump administration is planning to ask the Supreme Court to review a lower court's ruling that blocks the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, according to a Justice Department filing released Tuesday.

Updated Jan. 18 at 4:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocks plans to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the administration to stop its plans to include the controversial question on forms for the upcoming national head count "without curing the legal defects" the judge identified in his 277-page opinion released on Tuesday.

Eileen Okada was 5 years old when the U.S. government forced her and her family to live in a stall made for horses.

"I remember the stench. They cleaned it out, of course, but didn't scrub it down. The smell was still there," says Okada, now 81 and a retired elementary school teacher and librarian.

Updated Nov. 2, 7:50 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has refused to postpone the start of the first trial over the controversial citizenship question it added to the 2020 census.

The Trump administration is fending off six lawsuits across the country over a citizenship question that has been added to the 2020 census for, officials insist, one primary reason — to get better data on who in the country is and isn't a U.S. citizen.

Updated 6:25 p.m. ET Friday

The Supreme Court has temporarily shielded Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to sit for questioning under oath in the lawsuits over a controversial citizenship question the Trump administration added to the 2020 census.

Updated 10:33 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has temporarily blocked lower court orders for depositions by two senior Trump administration officials in the multiple lawsuits over the new question about U.S. citizenship status on the 2020 census.

Pages