Trump Mulling Over Using Executive Order to Include Citizenship Question on 2020 Census

  • On Friday, President Trump said that he’s “very seriously” looking into whether he should use an executive order to get the citizenship question included on the 2020 census after his administration agreed earlier this week to leave it off and already began printing the census without it.
  • Trump told reporters that the executive order is among four or five options he’s considering and said: “It’s one of the ways that we’re thinking about doing it, very seriously.”
  • Per reports, “an executive order would not, by itself, override court rulings blocking the inclusion of the citizenship question.” However, the order could give “administration lawyers a new basis to try to persuade federal courts that the question could be included.”
  • The Trump administration has faced fierce opposition against including the question, which saw the issue make its way to the Supreme Court where justices ruled that the question must be left off for the time being.
  • Trump suggested on Friday that “officials might be able to add an addendum to the questionnaire with the question after it’s already printed.”
  • The citizenship question hasn’t been included on the census since 1950, and there’s been a fear that including it would discourage immigrants from participating, which could throw off headcounts.
  • An accurate census count is needed to determine the number of congressional seats for each state and affects each state’s funding.
  • Opponents have went so far as to say “that officials lied about their motivations for adding the question and that the move would help Trump’s fellow Republicans gain seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures when new electoral district boundaries are drawn.”
  • However, Trump’s supporters “say it makes sense to know how many non-citizens are living in the country” and have claimed that the question protects voters’ rights.
  • Trump previously said: “We’re spending 15 to 20 billion dollars on a census we’re doing everything, we’re finding out everything about everybody. Think about it, 15 to 20 billion dollars and you’re not allowed to ask them ‘are you a citizen?”

Reference Links

  • AP: Trump weighs executive order to add census citizenship query READ
  • New York Post: Trump may use executive order to include citizenship question on census READ
  • MSNBC: Donald Trump considering an executive order to add citizenship question to census WATCH
  • Reuters: As court deadline nears, Trump scrambles to add citizenship question to U.S. census READ

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