Trump determined to find out who is a citizen

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (July 12, 2019) — After courts blocked putting a citizenship question on the census, President Donald Trump has directed federal agencies to try to compile the information using existing databases instead.

"It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and non-citizens that make up the U.S. populations," Trump declared in a Rose Garden announcement, insisting that he was "not backing down.

Trump had said last week that he was "very seriously" considering an executive order to try to force the question. But the government has already begun the lengthy and expensive process of printing the census questionnaire without it, and such a move would surely have drawn an immediate legal challenge.

Instead, Trump said Thursday that he would be signing an executive order directing every federal department and agency to provide the Commerce Department with all records pertaining to the number of citizens and noncitizens in the country.

Late Thursday, Justice Department lawyers sent a copy of the executive order to the judge presiding over a challenge to the citizenship question in Manhattan federal court, saying they will confer with lawyers for the plaintiffs to see how to proceed in the case.

Trump's order said the Supreme Court "has now made it impossible, as a practical matter, to include a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census questionnaire."

"After examining every possible alternative, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce have informed me that the logistics and timing for carrying out the census, combined with delays from continuing litigation, leave no practical mechanism for including the question on the 2020 decennial census," Trump said.

 

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