President Trump has apparently abandoned plans to pursue a citizenship question on the 2020 census. But, he still has a plan to collect the data. Speaking at the Rose Garden Thursday afternoon, Trump announced a new executive order that would order federal agencies to report citizenship information to the Commerce Department.
POTUS issues an executive order to order all federal agencies to deliver data to the Commerce Department to gain a “full and accurate count” of non-citizens.— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) July 11, 2019
This effort could provide a complete tally of the illegal immigrants in the country, the president said.
“Far-left Democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst,” Trump said. “This is part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen, and it’s very unfair.”
Trump is ordering all federal agencies to turn over all requested info on U.S. population numbers.— POLITICO (@politico) July 11, 2019
"The Census Bureau projected that using previously available records, I could determine citizenship for 90% of our population or more," he said. "We're aiming to count everyone" pic.twitter.com/BLxosjAVaA
As early as Thursday morning, White House officials were still previewing the president's plans to issue an executive order to include the citizenship question on the census. But, it appeared more and more likely he could not and would not circumvent the Supreme Court, which last week ruled in a 5-4 decision that the matter had to be handled by the lower courts. The justices did not say the White House's addition of a citizenship question was unconstitutional, but it was still an adverse decision for the administration.
At a White House social media summit Thursday afternoon before his Rose Garden remarks, Trump shared his opinion of those courts.
"We have three very unfriendly courts," he said. "They fight us all the way. Judges don’t like us too much, I guess.”
The White House ran out of time, it seems. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was happy to tell the press this morning, the Commerce Department had already begun printing census forms last week.