Trump ends drive to add census question
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/12/19, 10:25 am
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump ended his effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census Thursday, announcing in a news conference that he would instead sign an executive order to count U.S. citizens. The order would direct every federal department and agency to give all records related to the number of citizens and noncitizens to the Department of Commerce. “It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and noncitizens that make up the U.S. populations,” he said. Trump predicted that the administration could find 90 percent or more of the U.S. population’s citizenship status through this order. “Ultimately, this will allow us to have a more complete count of citizens than through asking the single question alone,” he said.
The president’s decision ends a long fight over next year’s census questionnaires, which the Commerce Department is already printing. Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Trump that the logistics and timing of trying to add a citizenship question would not work.
The Supreme Court had temporarily barred the question, and a U.S. District judge on Wednesday stopped the Justice Department from changing much of its legal team close to a deadline for further written arguments on the matter.
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