Trump calls battle over census citizenship question ‘ridiculous’
While claiming he has not been “overly involved in the census controversy,” President Trump called the question of
whether to allow a question about citizenship on the 2020 census forms “totally ridiculous.”
“When you have a census and you’re not allowed to talk about whether somebody’s a citizen or not, that doesn’t sound so good to me,” Trump responded to a question from a reporter after meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda. The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on a challenge to adding the question.
“I don’t want to get you in this battle, but it’s ridiculous,” he continued. “I think it’s totally ridiculous that we would
have a census without asking, but the Supreme Court is going to be ruling on it soon.” Trump added: “I think when the census goes out you should find out whether or not — and you have the right to ask — whether somebody is a citizen of the United States.”
For over 200 years, the decennial head count of every person living in the U.S. — citizens and noncitizens — has
helped states determine how funds, now hundreds of billions of dollars, are allocated according to population size.
Civil rights advocates have argued that the question, which hadn’t been tested for its potential impact on census response rates, New York, Texas and Florida. They were among 17 states that joined the suit against the Department of Commerce to have the question discarded.
And beyond an undercount of Latinos and immigrant communities, opponents to the questions worry about seemingly unrelated consequences ,
A ruling is expected later this month as the deadline for printing census forms approaches. Legal observers say the justices are likely to allow the question to be added.