The decree of President Trump, calling on federal agencies to assist in the accounting of citizens and non-citizens, is an alarmist tactic, according to Juan Williams.
Trump issued the proclamation to bypass the Supreme Court after it temporarily prevented the administration from adding a citizenship issue to the 2020 census, Williams told The Five newspaper.
"People do the apology, and that's what this president does," he said.
"Hillary Clinton said today that it militarizes fear and sectarianism – and I totally agree with him.
TRUMP, "DO NOT DO ARMCHAIR" TO COUNT CITIZENS AT THE HEART OF CENSUS, ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ORDER
"The US Supreme Court has said 'no'. It goes around the Supreme Court, Congress."
The facilitator added that the presence of a citizenship issue might deter some people from responding to the decennial count prescribed by the Constitution.
"This intimidates the people who should participate in our census to know how many people live in our country," he said, saying it could "depress" the accounting of "non-whites".
Jesse Watters, the host, said the citizenship issue had been asked for the first time at the census, while James Monroe was president.
FLASHBACK: TRUMP SEEKS CENSUS DELAY FOR 2020 POST AFTER SUPREME COURT LEAVE CITIZENSHIP
"They have been doing it since the 1820s," he said, adding that he thought critics of the issue did not differentiate between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants.
On Thursday afternoon, at the White House, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr accompanied Trump when he announced the order.
This decision would use "large" federal databases and allow for a free exchange of information between various federal agencies regarding the identity of their country of origin in the country, Trump said.
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"Today, I am here to say that we are not backing away in our efforts to determine the citizenship status of the American people," the president told reporters, after criticizing the Democrats, saying that they were doing politics with national security.
He described the legal opposition to the addition of a question on citizenship to the census of 2020 as "baseless".
Speaking after Trump, Barr said the information collected through the decree could be helpful in determining the composition of the constituency and the distribution to Congress.
Fox News's Gregg Re contributed to this report.