The Trump administration has rescinded the inflammatory citizenship question it unsuccessfully fought to include in the 2020 United States Census, otherwise known as Census 2020, slated to begin on April 1.

The deleted question is: “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”

Respondents would have been given five options: they were born in the U.S., born in a U.S. territory, born abroad to U.S. citizen parents, naturalized as a citizen, or not a citizen.

The census is conducted every 10 years and counts people living in the U.S. It's used to determine federal funds, grants and support to states, hence its huge importance to both political parties.

Opponents of the question, including the Democratic Party, successfully argued to the Supreme Court its inclusion will disenfranchise minority groups. Three other federal judges also ruled against including the citizenship question over the past few months.

"We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process," said Kate Bailey, a lawyer with the Department of Justice.

The administration's sudden surrender came as a surprise, albeit a welcome one, to opponents of the question. Opponents branded this census question as another attempt by Republicans at voter suppression of minorities and partisan gerrymandering.

"This is a victory on the eve of the Fourth of July we are celebrating equal justice for all," said New York Attorney General Letitia James. "Everyone should be counted."

New York was one of the many states, cities and other groups that challenged the question in court.

"We're happy about the development but want to make sure it is thorough and complete," said Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which was among groups challenging the question.

Saenz, however, said he was concerned the Trump administration might find other ways to undermine the census.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross originally directed the Census Bureau to add the question. He told Congress last March the citizenship question is necessary to enforce the Voting Rights Act's protection against voter discrimination. He also said the citizenship question was requested by the Department of Justice and approved by him.

Wilbur Ross
US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross kept investments in a shipping company with Russian ties after joining the Trump administration. Daniel Leal-Olivas-AFP/GETTY

He disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling of June 27 rejecting the Trump administration's stated rationale for including the question.

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

"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."