District of Columbia — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring all federal agencies to turn over data regarding citizenship, an order that potentially provides a workaround for the President to collect and use citizenship data for the 2020 Census. According to President Trump, the order would allow the Department of Commerce to collect data on citizens and non-citizens in a timely manner, utilizing databases and all relevant data to complete the census.
In a press conference at the Rose Garden, President Trump described the need for a citizenship count as “critical for creating sound public policy, whether the issue is healthcare, education, civil rights, or immigration. We must have an accurate count of how many citizens, non citizens, and illegal aliens we have in our country.” The President also stressed that the Commerce Department will use Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases.
The executive order is the new chapter of a number of legal pursuits to collecting data on non-citizens in the United States, which the Trump Administration had tried to accomplish by adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, a pursuit that was upheld as legal by the United States Supreme Court but was also held up due to “insufficient reasoning”.