One year out from the start of the 2020 census, Census Bureau officials set out Monday to demonstrate the importance of the head count for all Americans. President Trump offered a different message, saying the count will be "meaningless" if it doesn't include a citizenship question, the AP reports. In a tweet Monday, Trump blamed "Radical Left Democrats" for opposing the "all important" question on citizenship. The Trump administration wants to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, but the idea faces court challenges from Democratic-leaning states and communities that argue it would make immigrants and their families less likely to respond to the constitutionally mandated tally and thus make the count less accurate. Lower courts have ruled that the administration's haste to include the question violated federal law and the Constitution.
The official counting begins on April 1 next year. To mark the date one year out, Census Bureau officials held a briefing Monday to begin raising awareness and project confidence that they're up to the monumental task. Officials said two versions of the census have been prepared, one with and one without the citizenship question, CNN reports. A Supreme Court ruling on the matter is expected in early summer. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham declined to answer a question about the president's tweet, saying "we really want to restrict our comments to talking about the great job we're doing, where we are and how it's going to help this nation." Dillingham noted that the census for the first time will give people the chance to respond online. People can also respond by telephone and mail.
(Read more US Census