Trump to announce executive action on controversial census citizenship question

The Supreme Court previously struck down the possibility of adding the citizenship question to census forms.
4:09 | 07/11/19

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Transcript for Trump to announce executive action on controversial census citizenship question
President trump is expected to announce. Executive action to add that controversial citizenship question to the census. Even after the Supreme Court rejected this I want to bring in our Devin Dwyer in Washington and Karen Travers at the White House. Dead end. Good to see you trump in his. Defenders keeps saying that the US government from. Eighteenth when he 101950. Asked everyone about their citizenship status is this true. Well can really since the 79 units in the first census was conducted there have been 23 sentences. In this country and in that window you mentioned between 1820 in 1950. It trump is correct some version of citizenship was asked. On the census but it's how it's asked. That's at issue here during those years that you mentioned. The sit in the Census Bureau asked foreign born people in the country whether or not they were citizens are non citizens. Us and there's a little bit of a wrinkle there the president wants to ask everyone. Blanket citizenship question are you a citizen in critics say that could be very intimidating to people to have to answer that question. Might turn some people away. But we should say just remind everybody that that it under federal law the Census Bureau can't use any of this information citizenship or otherwise. For any purpose other than statistics. But of course the fear. Perhaps an immigration action is what is that issue in this case. And Caron why is this a priority for president from especially since the cook the Supreme Court said no. Well the present. And will say that part of this is to get an accurate count of who's here in this country and then the question comes how much of that is. Based on his approach to immigration and trying to get a sense of the undocumented immigration population. The administration's lawyers have been arguing that. This question is necessary to help enforce the voting rights act and that was the argument that was rejected by the Supreme Court about two weeks ago. This all seems to be dying game over case close the Justice Department's and and the Commerce Department Kimberly put out statements saying. That's it the Supreme Court ruled were moving on the census in points when he will not have this citizenship question and then a day later the resident pleaded not so fast he wanted to figure out any way possible to move forward to get back question added. Right now though the census forms are already being prints but the administration is signaling that perhaps that the president. It able to do what he wants to do. There could be an addendum to the form. Couple hours from now we're expecting the president to announce some form an executive action where he will try to force that question to be a part of the senses. It's not clear yet what that is going to look like a memo an executive order but somehow the president's gonna claim executive authority here to do that. Question will be does he have the legal authority to do gathering a lot of questions and legal experts say he did hands. And DeVon that's where I'm coming back to you that was my exact question is the president even allowed. To take this this order and and make this happen. So it word terror we've certainly seen him attempt it many times and get struck down on the court just look back at that. Early version of the travel Branson to Karen's point the president is going to attempt this today. Legal or not but it's certain. To face continue legal challenge in fact after the Supreme Court ruled a couple weeks ago. This is still back in district court the lower level of the federal courts it's still percolating judges there just in the past few days have been deeply skeptical of what the trump administration is doing here there's so much confusion. About what what they're where reasoning is that timing they it said this needed to be done very urgently now they're saying they're gonna try to add a back. It's in the judges are already skeptical this will be challenged. But the law gives commerce secretary Wilbur Ross a lot of leeway in designing the question the senate and the census. It's just gonna come down to the reasoning that was given that and the timing they need to to make their case Kimberly. All right DeVon island thank you for joining us today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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