Most Americans believe next year’s national census should include a question that sorts citizens from non-citizens, according to a new poll.
President Donald Trump is the loudest proponent of the idea, which the Census Bureau discarded after 1950.
The acting Citizenship and Immigration Services director said Sunday that Trump is continuing to press for the citizenship question, even though printers have begun to crank out paper questionnaires.
Ken Cuccinelli told ‘Fox News Sunday’ that ‘the president has expressed determination’ to win what has become an extended-play Supreme Court battle with no clear resolution in sight.
President Trump is getting a boost from a new poll that shows a majority of Americans side with him on including a citizenship question in the 2020 Census
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting Citizenship and Immigration Services director, told ‘Fox News Sunday’ that ‘the president has expressed determination’ to win what has become an extended-play Supreme Court battle with no clear resolution in sight
The high court kicked the can back to a lower court on June 27, ruling that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross provided a ‘contrived’ reason for including the question. But the written opinion, delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts, didn’t rule it out.
Pollsters started asking the public for its take three days later.
Trump ‘has noted that the Supreme Court didn’t say, “This can’t be asked”,’ Cucinelli said. ‘They said that they didn’t appreciate the process by which it came forward the first time.’
‘So the president is determined to fix that and to have it roll forward in the 2020 Census.’
The Justice Department had egg on its face last week when the president short-circuited Ross’s surrender in a series of tweets. DOJ lawyers were left trying to explain to a federal judge why they were withdrawing a 24-hour-old white flag.
A DOJ spokeswoman said Sunday that the administration would be assigning a new team of lawyers to handle the case.
The U.S. Census is required by the Constitution every 10 years and determines the distribution of House members and Electoral College votes, along with the apportionment of federal dollars that go to the states from everything from roads to schools
The U.S. Constitution requires an accounting of America’s population every 10 years.
Trump had said Friday that he would be consulting with Attorney General WIlliam Barr, and saw several paths forward.
‘I just spoke with the attorney general. We have a number of different avenues. We could use all of them or one,’ the president told reporters as he left the White House for the weekend.
Trump said issuing an executive order to restore the question for the first time since 1950 is among the options he is ‘very seriously’ considering to re-task the $15-20 billion project.
Another is allowing printers to finishing printing millions of questionnaires without the citizenship question, and ‘maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision’ in court.
Trump added Friday that there are several legitimate purposes for the U.S. Census to gather that information.
‘You need it for many reasons. Number one, you need it for Congress. You need it for Congress, for districting,’ he said, referring to the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives.
Chief Justice John Roberts kicked the census question case back to a Maryland federal court but signaled that the Supreme Court might tackle it again if the facts presented to them were to change
Conservatives typically argue that when Congress adjusts the states’ congressional seats to reflect the movement of the population every ten years, only voting-eligible citizens should count in the calculations.
Liberals counter that asking a citizenship question will make illegal immigrants too afraid to participate and discourage green card holders from taking part , skewing the results
Trump said Friday that Congress should base decisions about ‘appropriations – where are the funds going?’ – on only the citizens who will benefit.
‘How many people are there? Are they citizens? Are they not citizens? You need it for many reasons,’ he said.
‘We’re doing everything. We’re finding out everything about everybody,’ Trump said. ‘Think of it: $15 to $20 billion and you’re not allowed to ask them, “Are you a citizen?” And by the way, if you look at the history of our country, it’s almost always been asked.’