‘Most vital of questions’: Trump laments lack of citizenship question on census – POLITICO

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump said he was not giving up on getting a citizenship question added to the census. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images


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President Donald Trump expressed frustration Tuesday night that the 2020 census will not include a citizenship question, adding that his administration is not giving up on the fight.

“A very sad time for America when the Supreme Court of the United States won’t allow a question of “Is this person a Citizen of the United States?” to be asked on the #2020 Census! Going on for a long time,” Trump tweeted.

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The Commerce Department confirmed earlier Tuesday that the Census Bureau would not ask about citizenship, which Trump had pushed to be included on the 2020 count. Legal experts have argued that asking for citizenship would decrease the number of responses and could lead to inaccurate figures, possibly jeopardizing the accuracy of congressional representation.

Trump has previously proposed delaying the census to sort out the legality of a citizenship question. He said Tuesday night that he “asked the Department of Commerce and the Department of Justice … to do whatever is necessary to bring this most vital of questions, and this very important case, to a successful conclusion.”

The Trump administration argued asking for citizenship would allow it to carry out parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the president has more bluntly said he wants the question in order to find out who is “an illegal.” Opponents have suggested the question is entirely motivated by partisan politics.

By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court last week stopped an appeal from the administration to allow the question to be added to the census without more evidence that it was legal and necessary. The high court’s roadblock presented serious questions of whether the legality of the citizenship question could be settled in time for the census to be carried out according to federal law.

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