After using Twitter to resurrect the idea of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census even though the forms were already being printed and the Supreme Court told him no, Donald Trump held a press conference to once again abandon the plan while strutting around acting as if he won nonetheless.
He will instead issue an executive order to begin gathering citizenship data through other means, according to CNN:
“‘We are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the US population,’” Trump said in laying out a plan to issue an executive order asking US departments and agencies to find ways to determine a head-count of citizens.
Trump said agencies would be required to provide the Commerce Department with documents and records of citizens and non-citizens, which he said would help provide an accurate picture of US citizenship.”
It’s unclear what will happen in the three separate court cases filed in Maryland, California and New York that deal with adding a citizenship question, which reasonable people argue would only make people afraid of filling out the census and thus defeat the purpose of taking one.
Trump’s plan is actually what the Census Bureau has been telling him to do all along in order to make sure people actually fill out their forms, according to Politico:
“In fact, Trump’s plan appeared to be nearly identical to what career Census Bureau scientists proposed as an alternative last year after political appointees floated the idea of adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The career officials argued that people don’t always answer questionnaires honestly, and some decide not to respond when the citizenship issue is raised. Relying on existing administrative records would offer a better count and prove less costly, they said.”
Well I, for one, have never been more chuffed to add my personal information to a government database than I am after this press conference during which the president assured that he would leave “No stone unturned” in his quest to categorize human beings.