Trump abandons citizenship question on census, will seek 'new option'

In a Rose Garden statement, President Donald Trump said he is abandoning efforts to put a citizenship question on the census and will be pursuing a new option.

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He said he is ordering every federal department and agency to provide the Commerce Department with all records it requests pertaining to the number of citizens and noncitizens in the country.

Trump said he will sign an executive order to put this new plan into effect “immediately.”

His plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census was thwarted by a recent Supreme Court ruling on legal challenges to the effort.

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The Supreme Court last month temporarily barred the inclusion of the question on the census on the grounds that the government's justification was insufficient. An executive order, by itself, would not override court rulings blocking the question, though it could give administration lawyers a new basis on which to try to convince federal courts the question passes muster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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