Trump: ‘Absolutely Moving Forward’ with Census Citizenship Question

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump proclaimed Wednesday his administration is “absolutely moving forward” with plans to add a question regarding citizenship to the 2020 census, branding statements to the contrary from administration officials as false

“The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE!” President Trump wrote on Twitter. “We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.”

The president’s remarks come a day after the U.S. Census Bureau began the process of printing the questionnaire without the question.

Trump administration attorneys notified parties in lawsuits challenging the question that the printing of the hundreds of millions of documents for the 2020 counts would be starting, said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated that while he respected the Supreme Court’s decision, he strongly disagreed with it.

“The Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question,” Ross said in a statement. “My focus, and that of the Bureau and the entire Department is to conduct a complete and accurate census.”

President Donald Trump had said after the high court’s decision last week that he would ask his attorneys about possibly delaying next spring’s decennial census until the Supreme Court could revisit the matter.

On Twitter Tuesday night, President Trump wrote that the Supreme Court ruling marked a “very sad time for America.” He also said he had asked the Commerce and Justice departments “to do whatever is necessary to bring this most vital of questions, and this very important case, to a successful conclusion.”

 

The Trump administration had said the question was being added to aid in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters’ access to the ballot box. In the Supreme Court’s decision, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal members in saying the administration’s current justification for the question “seems to have been contrived.”

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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