Trump declares push for census citizenship question not over, calls reports ‘FAKE’

Trump Tells Administration to ‘Do Whatever is Necessary’ to Add Citizenship Question to Census

Trump: Commerce, Justice positions on Census are 'FAKE'

"I have asked the Department and the Department of do whatever is necessary to bring this most vital of questions, and this very important case, to a successful conclusion", Mr. Trump said.

Calls to boycott the census have been circulating on social media ever since the possible addition of a citizenship question was announced in late March, and #BoycottTheCensus began trending on Twitter nationally shortly after the Trump administration's decision was announced on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and a Justice Department lawyer said the Census Bureau is in the process of printing the census questionnaire without the citizenship question. "We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question", the commander in chief tweeted.

Justice Department lawyers also notified parties in lawsuits challenging the question, and at least one federal judge who blocked its inclusion, that the company with a $114 million contract to print census questionnaires had been instructed to start printing forms without the citizenship question. This move to scrap the fight for the citizenship question comes after the administration had missed what it previously claimed was the deadline to begin printing the questionnaires.

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The administration had said the question was being added to aid in enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters' access to the ballot box.

Trump disputed that characterization in his tweet Wednesday.

Less than 24 hours after warning that he is still "trying to do that", Trump has reportedly abandoned his almost two-year long battle to politicize the census by including a question about citizenship status. He also wrote a tweet on Tuesday indicating that the administration would continue to pursue the question.

Critics of the question had argued that adding a citizenship question could lead to undercounting the population in areas with high concentrations of undocumented immigrants, which tend to be in blue states. Roberts, who authored the majority opinion (pdf), said the administration's rationale for adding the question was insufficient and described it as "more of a distraction" than an explanation.

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"The Census Bureau must immediately commit to counteract his statements with the truth - that the citizenship question will not be on the Census, that that Census Bureau intends to carry out a full and complete count of every single person, and that they are committed to keeping all of the information they receive completely private as required by law", Hulett said. In a memorandum, Census Bureau official John Abowd recommended that Commerce use existing administrative records - from the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service - instead of adding the question.

New York's attorney general praised the decision to abandon the citizenship question.

"The census is set by statute so he doesn't have the unilateral authority to delay it", Kelly Percival, counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice told ABC News last week.

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