Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump to announce executive action on census citizenship question

Trump to announce executive action on census citizenship question

President Trump is expected to take executive action to try and add a question about US citizenship status to forms for the upcoming 2020 census, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning he would be holding a press conference in the Rose Garden in the afternoon about "the census and citizenship". "The Supreme Court disallowed the question for now and sent it back for the 'real reason" for including the question.

The U.S. Census Bureau is part of the Commerce Department.

Judge Jesse Furman of the US District Court for the Southern District of NY on Tuesday denied the Department of Justice's (DOJ) notice of motion to withdraw as counsel on a case concerning the census citizenship question.

The Justice Department succeeded in getting the Supreme Court to block plans to depose Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

"We are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the USA population", Trump said in laying out a plan to issue an executive order asking U.S. departments and agencies to find ways to determine a head-count of citizens.

The Justice Department said President Trump was asserting executive privilege over the documents the panel had requested.

Experts say Trump's insistence on adding the question is to undercount Hispanics, undocumented immigrants, and minorities who might be afraid to respond to the citizenship question. "We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question".

The U.S. census, which occurs once every ten years, is used to determine the number of seats that each state gets in the House of Representatives.

The Trump administration initially announced printing would go forward without the citizenship question. Demographers, including at the government's Census Bureau, fear that non-citizen immigrants in the USA will not fill out the census forms out of fear of identifying themselves as being in the country without documentation and opening themselves up to deportation.

"We can't Keep America Great for all Americans if we don't know who's in this country", said the email, signed by "Team Trump 2020".

Attorney General William Barr said Monday he sees a way to legally require 2020 census respondents to declare whether or not they are citizens, despite a Supreme Court ruling that forbade asking the question.

It is not clear the President has the legal authority to issue an executive order to add the question.

Democratic U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar on Thursday said the Census should not ask about citizenship status and that Trump and his administration's were pushing it "for political reasons".

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is replacing the legal team that has been pursuing Mr. Trump's efforts, putting in place a new team consisting of both career and politically appointed attorneys.

But two federal judges rejected the switch in the government's legal team, saying it could not do so without satisfactorily explaining why.

Like this: