Census Battle: Trump Signs Executive Order on Collection of Citizenship Data

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will take executive action to direct the Department of Commerce to obtain an estimate of U.S. citizens from records provided by federal government agencies.

“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,” the president stated in the Rose Garden of the White House with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr by his side. “They must furnish all legally accessible records in their possession immediately. We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the noncitizen population.”

“We will leave no stone unturned,” he added.

President Trump had previously said an executive action was one of multiple options he was considering in regards to adding the question after the Supreme Court ruled against it on procedural grounds.

“We’re thinking about doing that. It’s one of the ways. We have four or five ways we can do it. We’re doing well on the Census,” the president old reports last week when asked about the question.

“I have a lot of respect for Justice Roberts, but he didn’t like it,” he added. But he did say come back. Essentially he said, ‘come back.’ That’s what he was saying. So we’ll see what happens. We can also add an addendum on so we can start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision.”

The high court said the administration did not provide adequate grounds for adding the question and called the government’s argument “contrived.” The Census Bureau has since begun printing the questionnaires without the inquiry about U.S. citizenship.

Two federal judges have also since blocked administration efforts to change Justice Department attorneys who had been fighting in court for the question’s inclusion.

The Justice Department initially said the fight to add the question was over, before President Trump intervened and said he wouldn’t give up the fight.

Breitbart News reports:

The majority of Hispanic and black Americans support President Trump’s effort to ask all respondents on the 2020 Census whether or not they are an American citizen.

The latest Harvard/Harris Poll reveals that a majority of five-in-nine Hispanic voters, or 55 percent, and nearly six-in-ten black American voters, or about 59 percent, said they support a question on the upcoming census that would ask U.S. residents whether they are American citizens or not.

Overall, about 67 percent of U.S. voters said the citizenship question should be on the Census, including 72 percent of white Americans, nearly nine-in-ten Republican voters, 63 percent of swing voters, and 64 percent to 69 percent of working class Americans.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have expressed support for President Trump’s effort to collect data on citizenship. While Cruz said the Supreme Court’s decision on the issue was “disappointing” and “unfortunate,” he applauded  President Trump and Attorney General William Barr for their efforts to ask the question.

“I’m heartened that both the president and Attorney General Barr have indicated their intention to go forward,” Cruz said Tuesday on the Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom.

“It is clear authority of the president and the administration — in fact, it’s a constitutional responsibility and they need to do it, they need to do it accurately and they need to do it right. But, part of doing it right is asking basic questions, including, ‘Are you a citizen?’” he added.

This story is developing. Check Breitbart News for updates. 

The UPI contributed to this report. 


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