Trump Ready to Take Action Over Citizenship Question; Press Conference Expected Over Next Steps

  • A House Republican aide stated that President Trump is expected to drop his push for having the citizenship question included on the 2020 census after a prolonged legal battle that saw the issue reach the Supreme Court.
  • Officials familiar with the matter said that Trump will “pursue other avenues for collecting citizenship information” after the Supreme Court ruled that the question had to be left off for the time being.
  • Thursday morning, Trump tweeted that he would hold a press conference about his next course of action, and a senior administration official said Trump “would be announcing new executive action as part of the effort” but didn’t go into specifics.
  • Trump spoke about his exasperation over the situation at a White House event where he said: “’Sir, you can’t ask that question … because the courts said you can’t.’”
  • Trump called the situation “the craziest thing.” He added “that surveyors can ask residents how many toilets they have and, ‘What’s their roof made of?’ The only thing we can’t ask is, ‘Are you a citizen of the United States?’”
  • After the Supreme Court’s ruling last week, Trump said he was considering using executive action to have the question included on the census.
  • However, “any action to get past the Supreme Court ruling would have been likely to draw an immediate legal challenge.”
  • The Census Bureau has been at odds with the Trump administration and said “it could produce better citizenship data without adding the question to the decennial census, which had not been done since 1950.”
  • The Census Bureau recommended collecting data from the American Community Survey, which asks about citizenship, and combining it with “records held by other federal agencies that already include citizenship records.”
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who’s in charge of the Census Bureau, said no to the idea and has continuously pushed to get the citizenship question included.
  • The ACLU announced that it was ready to pursue legal action if Trump uses executive order to get the question included.

Reference Links

  • AP: Trump turning to non-census avenue on citizenship question READ
  • ABC: Trump expected to end his fight to add citizenship question to census, sources say READ
  • New York Post: Trump backs off adding citizenship question to census READ
  • The Hill: Trump expected to announce he won’t force citizenship question onto 2020 census READ

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