Jul 1, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump: Census needs citizenship question to find out who's illegal

President Donald Trump speaks to the press before signing a bill for border funding legislationin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 1, 2019.

President Trump. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters Monday he's still looking at delaying the 2020 census, after a Supreme Court decision last week temporarily blocked his administration from adding a citizenship question to it, CNN and Politico report.

"I think it is very important to find out if somebody is a citizen as opposed to an illegal. It is a big difference to me between being a citizen of the United States and being an illegal."

Why it matters: Experts say the citizenship question would lead to a less accurate census, which in turn would skew the makeup of the House and deprive minority communities of federal funding, Axios' Sam Baker notes.

  • It's unclear what power Trump has to delay the Census, given it's required to occur every 10 years, according to the Constitution.

The big picture: The Supreme Court has given the Trump administration the chance to try again. It may well be able to add the citizenship question in the end, even without delaying the survey, election-law expert Rich Hasen writes.

Go deeper