Published: Fri, July 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump Not Giving Up on Citizenship Question

Trump Not Giving Up on Citizenship Question

President Donald Trump continued pushing Thursday for including a citizenship question in the US census, tweeting that the inquiry must be in the 2020 survey and noting that officials are spending the holiday working on the issue.

"Nobody has any fucking idea", a person familiar with the matter told the WSJ when asked to clarify Trump's tweet.

Axios reported that Trump was considering issuing an executive order on including the question, citing a senior legal source.

If you were confused by the president contradicting his own administration on the citizenship question that isn't being printed on the census despite him saying it will be, you're not alone.

The White House did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

RedState reasoned that the Supreme Court "has already affirmed the legality of doing so and this decision came down way too late to force such a change".

Manhattan-based U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, presiding over a similar case, also pressed administration lawyers for an explanation.

WANG: This is all over this question that asks, is this person a citizen of the United States?

"Another day, another attempt to sow chaos and confusion", New York's Democratic Attorney General Letitia James, who is involved in the legal challenge, said.

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Plaintiff Denise Hulett asked Hazel to ensure that the US government doesn't further confuse the American people about the citizenship question. Trump tweeted on Thursday, hours before he planned to preside over Independence Day celebrations in Washington.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, claimed that by adding the citizenship question, he was "responding exclusively to the Department of Justice's request" for information to better enforce the Voting Rights Act. That decision came after a Supreme Court ruling last week that blocked the citizenship question for the time being until more reasoning from the administration was provided. Critics called that rationale a pretext for partisan motives.

Another Justice Department attorney told the judge that the administration has instructed printing to move forward without the citizenship question, but also acknowledged the situation is fluid.

Dale Ho, who argued the Supreme Court case as director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Voting Rights Project, said, "Everyone in America counts in the census, and today's decision means we all will".

The census is used to allot seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and distribute some $800 billion in federal services, including public schools, Medicaid benefits, law enforcement and highway repairs.

The president said that the question is important and that his administration is still working on putting it on the census.

"The President's tweet has some of the same effects that the addition of the question would in the first place and some of the same effects on the 18-month battle that was just waged over the citizenship question". Since then, it has been included only on questionnaires sent to a smaller subset of the population. Because of the time that it takes to develop the census itself, this further delay made it unlikely that the question could be added in time.

Cayabyab said the group remains committed in working to ensure that historically undercounted communities participate in an accurate - and safe - count.

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