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Trump Backs Down on Adding Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

HeadlineJul 12, 2019

President Trump backed down Thursday from his plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, after the White House struggled to overcome a Supreme Court ruling saying the administration’s justification for its inclusion “appears to have been contrived.” Instead, Trump said he was issuing an executive order to gather information about people’s citizenship status from federal agencies.

President Donald Trump: “I am 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 noncitizens in our country. They must furnish all legally accessible records in their possession immediately.”

Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones, tweeted, “Trump ordering Commerce Dept to still collect citizenship data means GOP can try to draw districts based on citizenship rather than total population in 2021. GOP gerrymandering guru said this would be 'advantageous to Republicans & Non-Hispanic Whites.'” Census officials have estimated 6.5 million people will not respond to the census if the citizenship question is added, affecting everything from the redrawing of congressional maps to the allocation of federal funding.

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