Donald Trump Phone Call - US News

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President Donald Trump abandoned his controversial bid to demand citizenship details from all respondents in next year’s census Thursday, instead directing federal agencies to try to compile the information using existing databases. “It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and non-citizens that make up the United States population,” Donald Trump said at a Rose Garden announcement. He insisted he was “not backing down.” His reversal comes after the Supreme Court blocked his efforts to include the citizenship question and as the government had already begun the lengthy and expensive process of printing the census questionnaire without it. Trump had said last week that he was “very seriously” considering an executive order to try to force the question’s inclusion, even though such a move would surely have drawn an immediate legal challenge. But he said Thursday that he would instead be signing an executive order directing agencies to turn records over to the Department of Commerce. “We’re aiming to count everyone,” he said. The American Community Survey, which polls 3.5 million U.S. households every year, already includes questions about respondents’ citizenship. Critics have warned that including the citizenship question on the census would discourage participation, not only by those living in the country illegally but also by citizens who fear that participating will expose noncitizen family members to repercussions. Keeping the prospect of adding the question alive could in itself scare some away from participating, while showing Trump’s base that he is fighting for…

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