citizen wane
July 11, 2019

When one citizenship question closes, apparently another one opens.

President Trump is planning to announce he's giving up his fight to get a question of citizenship added to the 2020 census, multiple sources tell ABC News. Instead, he'll reportedly announce an executive order directing the Commerce Department to survey people's citizenship in another, unspecified way.

Reports earlier on Thursday suggested Trump would announce a citizenship question-related executive order. But one source told told NPR he would order the question onto 2020 census forms that are supposedly already being printed, while two administration officials told The Washington Post the same. ABC News later reported that while administration officials had solidified NPR and the Post's reporting "as recently as Thursday morning," that had changed by the afternoon.

The Commerce Department announced an addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census more than a year ago, sparking a wave of lawsuits against its introduction. The Supreme Court eventually ruled against the question, saying the Trump administration's reasoning for adding the question "appeared to be contrived." That was largely based on evidence showing a GOP operative found adding the question would "benefit Republicans and non-Hispanic whites" because it would discourage undocumented people from taking the census. Trump had pledged to keep fighting even after the Supreme Court announced its decision, leading Justice Department lawyers to resign from the case in protest. Kathryn Krawczyk

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