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Trump should renew his pressure for a question on census citizenship with executive action: NPR

President Trump speaks at the White House in Washington, DC, in 2018.

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

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Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President Trump speaks at the White House in Washington, DC, in 2018.

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

Updated 12:53 ET

President Trump should take steps to try to add a question on the US citizenship status to the 2020 census forms, a source close to the subject told NPR.

The latest effort of the administration in a legal fight of more than a year to include the issue, blocked for the moment by the Supreme Court.

The question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

Trump is expected to announce the action of the executive Thursday afternoon at the White House, which will include Attorney General William Barr.

This decision is expected to trigger further lawsuits from dozens of states, cities and advocacy groups who have challenged the administration's first attempt to include the issue.

Before the announcement, Dale Ho of the American Civil Liberties Union, who was challenging the issue, said, "If President Trump takes action, he will sue."

In Maryland, a federal judge is currently reconsidering the allegations of conspiracy and discrimination against the issue, and in New York another judge is examining an alleged concealment of the actual reason relied on by the administration for asking the question.

Officials from the Department of Justice and the Commerce Department said that printing had begun for paper forms that did not include the issue.

Last month, the Supreme Court blocked the census citizenship issue for the time being. A majority of judges rejected the initial justification set out by the administration – to better protect the voting rights of racial minorities – from appearing "artificially". Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, formally approved the addition of the issue last year after pressuring trade officials for months to find a way to # 39; include.

The court's decision, however, leaves open the possibility for the administration to make another argument in favor of the issue. But it is unclear whether a decree could clear a path that would allow the administration to override decisions of lower courts that continue to block the issue of census forms.

According to Census Bureau research, the inclusion of the issue is likely to deter approximately 9 million people from taking part in the enumeration of all persons residing in the United States under the Constitution, especially among Latinx.

This could have long-term repercussions on the sharing of political representation and federal funding in the United States by 2030. The results of the census determine the share of congressional seats and the votes of each state's electoral college. the next decade. They also show how $ 880 billion a year in federal taxes are distributed to schools, roads and other public services in local communities.

The Census Bureau continued to recommend not adding the question, which researchers say would produce less accurate and costly self-reported responses to gather from existing government citizenship data. Ross authorized the office to compile these records, and his officials said they waited for an "indication" about the disclosure of this information, which would be anonymized to not identify individuals.

While there are only six months left before the official census begins in rural Alaska, any changes to the census forms could jeopardize the final preparations for the count. Census Bureau officials said the deadline for finalizing the questionnaire could be extended to October 31, but only "with exceptional efforts and additional resources. "

"I have no intention of allowing this glaring waste of money," New York State Representative Jose Serrano, who chairs the subcommittee, told reporters in the press. in the House, which funds the Census Bureau. a written declaration published on Tuesday. "I again urge the Trump administration to give up this fight and allow for a depoliticized and accurate census, as we have always done."

Nevertheless, President Trump has expressed his desire not to back down. His tweets after justice and commerce officials announced that the print had begun without a citizenship issue were a sign of a pivotal shift towards a protracted legal battle.

This week, Trump's reelection campaign sent emails Ask their supporters to complete an online survey asking them if they thought the 2020 census should ask people if they are "US citizens".

"We can not keep America big for all Americans if we do not know who is in this country," said the email, signed by "Team Trump 2020".

The lawyers defending the administration will come from a new team of lawyers from the Department of Justice. This week, in an unusual move, the administration tried to get the judges to approve the full rotation of every career DOJ lawyer who has been working on the ongoing lawsuits for months. The Department of Justice did not explain why he wanted change. Up to now, two federal judges have rejected these applications while allowing the administration to again attempt to exchange lawyers.

The House also plans a vote on July 16 to sentence Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to the Contempt Court for refusing to comply with subpoenas related to the Oversight Committee's investigation. on the question of citizenship.

"For months, Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross have withheld key documents cited by the Committee on a bipartisan basis without any valid legal justification for their refusal," said Elijah Cummings, Chair of Oversight. , in a statement Thursday.

He urged Barr and Ross to comply with subpoenas so that Congress could avoid a contempt vote.

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