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Trump administration says citizenship question not to appear on 2020 census

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-03 05:56

Immigration activists gather outside the US Supreme Court to await the justices' ruling on the Trump administration's attempt to add a citizenship question to the US census in Washington, DC, the US, on June 27, 2019. [Photo/IC]

WASHINGTON -- The US Department of Justice said Tuesday that the Trump administration will not add the controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census, days after the Supreme Court blocked the question's inclusion for the time being.

"We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process," the Department of Justice attorney Kate Bailey wrote in an email sent to groups challenging the question. Former Obama White House lawyer Daniel Jacobson shared a screenshot of the email on Twitter.

Kelly Laco, spokesperson for the Department of Justice, confirmed that the question will not appear on the census.

The Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the Trump administration did not give an adequate reason for adding the question to the 2020 census and sent the issue back to the Department of Commerce, which oversees the Census Bureau, for further explanation.

"If judicial review is to be more than an empty ritual, it must demand something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court's 5-4 majority opinion. He joined with the court's liberal wing in delivering the ruling.

The Trump administration had planned to ask all recipients a citizenship question on the 2020 census for the first time since 1950, claiming the question is needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act. Those who oppose the question's addition argue that the move will lead to an inaccurate population count since it will cause immigrants and noncitizens to skip the question or the census altogether.

The data obtained from the census, which is conducted once a decade under the Constitution, is used for the allocation of congressional seats and the distribution of billions of federal dollars to states and localities over the next ten years.

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