WASHINGTON, July 11, 2019 — Two weeks after a unanimous Supreme Court found President Trump’s quest to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census to be based on a single lie, it ended in a blizzard of them as he admitted defeat.
In an address delivered from the White House’s Kennedy Rose Garden on Thursday, President Trump lashed out at the “extremely unfriendly” courts and “meritless litigation” which had foiled efforts to ad an untested citizenship to the decennial census for the first time in more than 50 years.
Without evidence, Trump attacked the civil liberties groups and state attorneys general that had filed suit to prevent Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from adding the question as “far-left Democrats” who are “determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst” as “part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen.”
After admitting that the Commerce Department would not be able to add the question, he announced that his administration would cease its’ efforts to do so, and instead would pursue “a new option to ensure a complete and timely count of the non-citizen population.”
“Today, I will be issuing an executive order to put this very plan into effect immediately. I’m 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 non-citizens in our country,” Trump said.
The requested records, he said, would be used to complete “a full, complete, and accurate count of the non-citizen population.
The President claimed that the Census Bureau would be able to use the information gathered under his order to “ensure the 2020 Census generates an accurate count of how many citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens are in the United States of America,” adding that states could potentially use the resulting data to draw congressional and legislative districts based on the number of voting-age citizens living in a given area.
Drawing districts based on citizen voting-age population, or CVAP, would all states to minimize the political clout of non-white Latinos and maximize representation of Republican-leaning whites in states like Texas.
Attorney General William Barr praised Trump for signing the order, and said the Justice Department would be studying whether undocumented immigrants could be ignored when allocating the House’s 435 seats among the 50 states.
“The course the President has chosen today will bring unprecedented resources to bear on determining how many citizens and non-citizens are in our country, and will yield the best data the government has had on citizenship in many decades,” Barr said.
“[T]there is a current dispute over whether illegal aliens can be included for apportionment purposes. Depending on the resolution of that dispute, this data may be relevant to those considerations. We will be studying this issue.”