Trump: I'll Get Citizenship Data, but Not via Census

POTUS drops efforts to get citizenship question on the 2020 census
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2019 3:33 PM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2019 5:01 PM CDT
Sources: Trump Will Back Off Census Citizenship Question
President Donald Trump speaks during the "Presidential Social Media Summit" in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, July 11, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump hinted that a big announcement was coming Thursday on the 2020 census, and in an afternoon press conference, he revealed that he is dropping his effort to get a citizenship question added to it, USA Today reports. He will, however, sign an executive order Thursday having to do with collecting citizenship data, CBS News reports. "We will defend the right of the American people to know the full facts about the population's size of citizens and non-citizens. We have great knowledge in many of our agencies. We will leave no stone unturned," he said. "I'm hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens in our country." Attorney General William Barr also confirmed no citizenship question would be included on the census.

In advance of the press conference, sources told outlets including ABC News, NBC News, and CNN that the POTUS would make such a move. Said one, "It should come as no surprise to anybody the president wants to know who’s in this country legally and lawfully, and he’s going to do everything within his legal authority to make sure that information is known because the American people have a right to know." There had previously been speculation that Trump would issue an executive action to get the citizenship question on the census after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the administration had not given adequate reasoning for adding it. Also Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will vote next week to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for their roles in the development of the citizenship question and their refusal to answer questions regarding internal discussions about that development. (More 2020 census stories.)

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