Donald Trump gripes over Census citizenship setback

April 1, 2019

President Trump complained Monday about his struggles to get a question about citizenship added to the 2020 census, saying it would be a waste of money carrying out the count unless it includes that inquiry.

Mr. Trump aimed his anger at Democrats though it’s the courts that have stopped him, ruling that his administration showed duplicity, cut legal corners and overall goofed on the issue.

“Can you believe that the Radical Left Democrats want to do our new and very important Census Report without the all important Citizenship Question,” the president said on Twitter. He added that he felt the report “would be meaningless.”

The decennial census hasn’t included a citizenship question in more than half a century.

The information controls hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending and is central to making decisions about how to draw legislative district lines.

Mr. Trump has campaigned on asking about citizenship, and his administration has argued that having the question included on the full census will allow the Justice Department to make better cases against voting rights violations.

But opponents say that asking about citizenship will scare illegal immigrants and some legal residents particularly Hispanics from being willing to answer the census, thus skewing the count.

Two federal judges have sided with those complaints.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an appeal of one of those cases later this month.