Trump drops census question fight, announces new plan to collect citizenship data

Pres. Trump announces he won't move forward with a legal fight to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, instead issuing an executive order to federal agencies to turn over citizenship data.
27:28 | 07/11/19

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Transcript for Trump drops census question fight, announces new plan to collect citizenship data
Everybody welcome to the briefing room on Devin Dwyer Washington some breaking news from the White House just moments ago president trump. Came into the Rose Garden to announce a new move on the 20/20 census this. Question of whether or not the census should ask about citizenship has been embroiled in legal and political controversy in the president. Abruptly announced today he's effectively backing down from adding that question to the official short form census document. But not giving up on the fight to get an accurate count of how many people in this country our citizens our White House and justice reporter outs Mallon is here. To help us put our minds around what the president just said Alex. A great to see this I take it can be interpreted as a significant win for all immigrant advocates that had not wanted to see this on the form. Exact going to actually just got a statement in from the ACLU they say. But the -- administration's efforts to add this question just ended with a whimper not a bang and so he says the basically these these groups are now declaring victory. Over the administration and this is important to point out that DV administration says it's still going to try and get. Data regarding. You know immigration. And the amount of citizens and non citizens that are currently in this country some presence opposition executive order demanding all departments. And agencies hand over that data and what they're going to be able to do with that data. Is the next question because the census is really the only avenue where you can deal with things like congressional redistricting. And federal funding that goes to these communities that would have been affected potentially have included that question on and that. It's a great point that's where the census and mystified over question have been so critical and so important because of the stakes. They are that the president interest in we did take a course of action. That his own Census Bureau I had suggested to him at the very beginning of the census does collect data on citizenship they always have they just down it. On the side essentially end the president today said he's gonna go that way they're going to. Rely on the statistical modeling of the census using available administrative records. But there was some question at the end of that to Rose Garden statement that caught your ear Alex the attorney general made some mention of perhaps. Looking at using data collected on the side if you will for purposes of redistricting. That would be very contentious. Yet it's important to point out that the country attorney general Barr said in an interview would really three days ago that he saw pathway to adding the citizenship question on the two point one census. Now it seems that he was trying to save face a little bit. For the president in this room got Rose Garden cup press conference. Because he went up to the microphone and he said at the very end of his remarks that he believes that the data that they will be able to collect from all these agencies across the government. Could be used in some way for reapportionment of congressional districts and now that is actually the argument that the administration tried not to make. That this is the purpose of what they reduced the citizenship question a president trump last week made it clear that he believed that this question was so important specifically because of those redistricting so implication. That's politics of this come out we do know there have been political overtones to this fight from the beginning so much on the line it would set the stage of politics in this country for. A decade really in those seats and electoral votes. The president though bow into pressure in the courts he acknowledged openly that he faces considerable litigation. And delays that the attorney general said would be unacceptable to delaying the sentence itself. So the essentially decided to fold on this fight. Maybe pick some other ones Alex thinks so much for your reporting a short time ago. I caught up with mayor work commitment cargo of San Jose California one of the litigants in this case also. I Kelly Percival from the Brennan Center I'm just as an immigrant advocacy group a to get their reaction to this big news. In the mr. mayor welcome back to the prisoner want to start with you and get your reaction to this administration. Decision to step back from the fight to get the citizenship. Question on the short form of official census document. Big victory for advocates like you. Bush this week lost your go to what are the court all its slate. We've all been waiting to understand what outrageous things might come from this administration next. I'm certainly thrilled to hear this administration recognizes. That his Supreme Court has the final words. And your constitution requires. And a wise decision to comes back. And remind our viewers. What's at stake in communities like yours even at the local level from. A from the census count and an accurate census count went. What do you need those there's a data for. Well war. Large neighbor said he likes to say about want my one million people every hundred hearted person. Is equivalent to about 2000 dollars annually in federal. Education spending health spending housing spending. And blue cross through many east we have in our charity and so or coarse reject gamers won't ask. These issues that's hundreds of millions of dollars. It's a big impact obviously in a lot of those as funds are needed to care for. Those residents and cared opera public services Kelly personal you have argued. Ask us to our center for justice of the government now has a huge task in front of it after the smoke clears from this legal battle. To convince people that the census is a nonpartisan. Document and people need to participate in it. Absolutely on the census is not supposed to be partners in any way it really affects every person in the country. It doesn't matter what your right or left. It's important just. The previous speaker was safer 900 billion dollars in federal funding divvied up every single year. Dates on its numbers so the administration really need to start to repair that damage it's done. When it might just in proposing that question and fighting ports Zohar. They only increased fears that we know where Arnie he just didn't support assistance in questioning her I think people are. Are pretty afraid of it without me. And another even more self and so when you get or in the mail from the federal government thing please give us this information about yourself. There's a lot of people out there who aren't going to be going up that border and there are going to be even less inclined to open the door went in greater confidence. And we should remind everybody that federal law of course does state that the Census Bureau can't use any of that data they gather for any purpose other than statistics. Of course it's it's the perception in the fear Vick act can matter and so many cases mr. mayor. Back to you. At what have you heard from your residence. And your constituents about this there are people talking about it in in San Jose is there an awareness that this fight. Is going on in concern about it. Awareness among pop organizations churches. Those organizations are deeply engaged in serving her community. And related piece Peter bright light cameras been done all right we've got streets and announced that many states. Throughout the country this weekend. And zinni it's like San Jose where we got. 400000 people were warning of more country and our city. About nine dollars and Romania documented that is a huge amount it appears that don't be good any interaction of the government. At least sang well federal laws that we won't use this use of solace. All right mayor Sam McCargo San Jose California great to have you with the U instant reaction. Two this big development thank you sir and Kelly Percival with the Brennan center of justice appreciate your analysis and expertise turning now. Are to the crisis on the southern border in the trump administration's announced crackdown. And documented immigrant families in this country you just hurts or guests talk about it the New York Times. Reported this morning take a look that nationwide raids to arrest. Thousands of a documented famines are scheduled to begin this weekend. This after president trump ordered the operation to deport millions of people he postponed it a couple weeks ago because of some resistance. From within the agency were also learning today that family deportations. All or are already under way. In some parts of the country far from the border including in places like Minnesota. Today one Catholic Church in a suburb of Minneapolis. Is it received a message from their pastor which illustrated this anecdote take a look this is from father Mike Byron of the Catholic. Community pox Christie he writes his parishioners I was stunned to learn. That three of our Peru are parishioners were abruptly kicked up by agents of our government ice last week in the couple is being deported to Mexico immediately. These are members of the pox Christie community none and none of them are criminals all of them were on their way to work when I swept in. He goes on to say that for generations of their family have now been traumatized in separate about a single event. The inhumane this of the whole episode is unspeakable and yet somebody has to speak of it. I do not hear outreach in the vast majority of Christian public leaders Catholic or otherwise about what's happening to actual human beings and families. Even though the facts are quite public we spoke with father Byron a short time ago he said this. Family had been in the parish for more than 22 years. In the state of Minnesota. Minnesota senator Tina Smith recently joined us here in the brief room to talk about this case. And the threat of deportations all across the country including her state. Calling off a similar effort several weeks ago they are now telling us again this Sunday. That they are planning on net raids in ten cities across the United States and I just think about what this means to families. This isn't this this is gonna affect families across the board I'm thinking about a story in Minnesota for several years ago where. Ice agents. Rounded up two adults and their children who are American citizens. We're left at home an eight year old and a two year old were left to take care of themselves. 472 days before their grandmother can get here I am so concerned. That this kind of separating children from their parents. Is gonna happen again on Sunday right here in our country it is just I think it's untenable. And already some reports that its. Happening still ongoing including in Minnesota I think a lot of people might be surprised at these sorts of rates are taking place so far from the border. A lot of your peers have used the spotlight media attention to a try to pressure the administration away from some of these moves one. What can you do what have you done behind the scenes in the heady conversations with the administration your colleagues and taking action. Well I haven't had any conversations with the administration directly but I know many of us are talking about. What a bad ideas says and you know let's be clear our country needs a comprehensive immigration reform we needed to have secure borders but this kind of approach which seems designed to put fear and and to intimidate people on Sunday mean the ice won't even commit to not. I arresting people at their churches this Sunday it I think that America's gonna look at this and look at the families that are ripped apart by this and and be really up sat. We have the ice director here on the show a week or so ago mark Morgan he told us pretty clearly that this is about law and order it's about enforcing the law. Odds about fairness in this country says a lot of these families. I have deportation orders outstanding it's illegal that they're here. Isn't he right what do you stated that that this is actually what the law sets. What I say is that we do need to have that immigration and immigration system that works. One thing that we can do is we could and expand the number of immigration judges at the borders so that people aren't left in. People children aren't left in detention cells. Four days and days and days and sometimes longer while they're waiting for the immigration legal system as it is supposed to work. To play out you know I had a chance to visit the border and I've seen children that separated from their parents and moms and kids and what can only be described as prisons. And while they are awaiting that United States immigration system to to. Tip in to tip to provide them with sort of at an avenue. For Seeking Asylum I think it's important for us to realize that these are individuals. Many of these are and other individuals who are. Seeking Asylum in this country and that is what our law allows but we need to live up to the promise of our lives. Do you have been down there recently also voted in support of that border aid package humanitarian aid package leaders are but do you think do you think we've turned a corner with this crisis now that the migrant numbers are coming down more money is flowing down there. Well I hope that that the additional resources that. Senate and the house passed resoundingly bipartisan package of those additional resources will get to the border immediately to provide. Basic humanitarian care to. Families them especially children who are. Literally running for their lives. And coming the United States for help them don't again don't get me wrong we need. A comprehensive immigration system including border security but that all needs to work together. In our thanks again to senator Tina Smith of Minnesota for that for more honest I want to bring in. To guess Alejandro Hernandez Chavez says she is an immigrant advocate. With Isiah Minnesota group that works with faith communities there she is also formerly an undocumented immigrant. Anarchy Quinn oh and our immigration reporter he is still down on the border in Texas and the rate of Texas joins us by phone we'll get to Quinn and a second at all hundred thanks for joining us wanna start with you. And want to get your reaction to this story that just popped no lasted a day or so on of that community in Eden Prairie that Catholic Church we told our viewers about. At the top of this segment hammarley. In the country for 22 years seemingly law abiding faithful people and in the swoop of an afternoon they were were detained and are to be deported. What can be done about that. Yeah now I think it from happening verse Bob very sad story but are dying. In the end. Wherever we live NN military and immigration policy that we have in this country and I kept him out of something that's the frightening especially when. Immigration raids and the attacks that our current president has announced. Recently on boats who could perhaps happen in order of deportation. For. Reasons that are really carried out through just having an unjust immigration system not the end it because folks have done anything that. Would be considered. Breaking the law or anything that would be it. Normally heavily import. If and when you see in the New York Times. As you did this morning in these reports. Again we saw a couple weeks ago as well that there is some calming. I'm mass deportation operation underway targeting families. According to the paper of the trump administration we know has wanted to do this. What impact does that have in immigrant communities even in places like Minnesota. Have great impact there's a lot of folks who will not go to work who will not go to church. Who won't let their children go to school because. They live in a constant fear that. They don't know anything will be taken at any moment they also don't know. I think it was a clear point that was made. You're the champ administration. That they are looking for folks who have orders deportation. But we'll take anyone who is on seem so you don't feel safe in any spaces because even if it's not you who has the order they're coming for. If you are in that close proximity to perhaps someone you know. Or a family member or it could also be you it could also be your family. Air and it. Yeah I ain't you have some personal experience with that tell us a little bit about your story is someone who was and documented for a period of time and now has legal status. Yes so. I've been able to recover money from a resident in the citizen back in 2010 but I was here for about a decade. And then document an individual and I also want to lift that for folks who don't acknowledged that we have an unjust immigration system. It took me about attacking to. In any fattest in the country would have taken a lot longer it was for situations like him link there's a very popular tree going around right now about. Gain trampling who after 23 years received a letter that can finally apply for another family member who has now passed the rain. So it is a difficult system to work with the of these people hanging for decades upon decades. It sure is in there does seem to be an agreement that something needs to be down there needs to be some reforms made Alejandro Hernandez Chavez an advocate with Isiah Minnesota thanks so much for sharing your story. I'll hundrer appreciate you gonna wanna go now to quit knowing who his our immigration reporter still down on the border in Texas Quinn. You've been talking to folks down there during your road trip about all of this and the administration's efforts specifically with respect to asylum seekers are a lot of concern there. About the rush to send people back to Mexico if they may have legitimate claims for asylum. That are given a lot of the lawyers I've talked to along the border here are very concerned about the expansion of the administration's. A migrant protection critical that they call on the also known as the remain in Mexico policy. I'm standing right at Laredo international bridge here where people cross over to Mexico every day but starting this week. While they're gonna asylum seekers looking for refuge in the United States are going to be forced across that bridge. To wait in Mexico. Furthered through the duration of their asylum claims are processed through immigration court. And you spoke to one attorney I believe who. There is dealing with a lot of these asylum seekers and says this poses some pretty serious challenges tell us about it. Yeah this attorney. We can it works exporting the issue. Stanley preparations at the border of all varieties even after the truck administration zero tolerance policy and it President Obama did. Test the limits legal immigration as well. But those policies didn't at this same legal roadblock. Except when it came to detaining our map migrant families with children together. And and that's this is what it are our immigration attorney I spoke with had to say about it. Obama's the one who started him in detention an expanded family detention. I was working on by and I occasionally was one of the first primitive defense it was the right thing. Despite all that all of this pill and in comparison to a receiving. Family separation was absolutely unequivocally not an Obama administration policy. So did its turner Obama but the lawyer there Quinn making pretty clear that this is. In territory now that no one has seen before before we let you go quit I'm just curious. Giving your reporting the past few days down at the Texas border what are people there saying about this is there a sense of urgency there. That we feel and sense in the media echo chamber. That all of us in social media participating in what it what's the sense there on the ground about the and severity of the situation right now. There's certainly a sense of urgency among the immigrant advocate communities the Lou the lawyers as that I spoke to are all very concerned particularly about getting. Access to their clients. What are sat across the border it's not easy to traverse this border people do it all the time but it does that it is there is a lot of traffic there are slowdowns. Happened and border protection has had to divert resource is a weight from ports of entry Cilic to handle the big close of the migrants crossing. Are between courts crossing illegally. At and that has cause slowdowns as well. So having two reach out and make ink and keep in contact with your clients. When they've been sent back to Mexico. Is not something that these lawyers want to do. And it's something that make it it makes. Proving their case per silence much more difficult. Yet such an interest in an important perspective that does asylum seekers face new challenges legal challenges even when they're back in Mexico Quinn knowing. To revert reporting think he's so much down from the Texas border. Turning out of the race for 20/20 after a short wallop to the fourth of July holiday the candidates are out barnstorming the early states today are team. Is fanned out in coverage of all of them including. Tracking some new developments some some of the candidates looking to reboot their campaign since bringing Kristin Otto now he covers the Biden campaign ease with his New York. Also Germany Beatrice Peterson who covers Connell a Harris and Avery harper. Is on a bus tour today with accuracy and Gillibrand. Had a terrific guy Pennsylvania's so check in with Avery just a second Chris want to start with you because. Former Vice President Biden looking to turn the page away from the controversy over bossy and has just given a significant. Landmark speech on foreign policy tell us about it yet and he just give us. Each about 45 minutes long. Laying the ground war when his foreign policy would be under Biden administration. The it was a good way for him to turn the page as you said. Away from all the negative attention over his comments about busing and hits and comments about working with segregationist senators. He he gave a lot of think he spent most of the speech talking about. How he would on two things that are for actions that are on going on under the trump administration such as getting rid of the Muslim ban or. Ending Stanley separation at the border. Rejoin the Paris climate accord which he got a huge round of applause or. Yeah and a hit certainly is something he can dominates his peers Johnny has more experience than any of them in foreign policy may guess Chris. Bob there's some criticism of Biden that he is simply. Reverting back to what president Obama's foreign policy was how is this team countering that this is more than just. Switch back to to the Obama days. Well he set up he would lay the ground work from the Obama days but it would have to go further you know if he wants. And within his first year of office he wouldn't say if he said he would bring democracies around the world to that people. And figure out how they can go further from what we've seen over the eight years and under the of Obama administration. Yes and build on some of those alliances if you will that were hallmark of the of army years Chris thanks for that let's. Turnout of Beatrice Peterson in convoy Harris who is of course been sparring with Joseph Biden she was on The Breakfast Club this morning she was talking Joseph Biden take a look. I'm not gonna let us engage on a debate stage who's going to be the next president and I missed it I'm not going analysts to engage in revisionist history. Now we'll tell you also. Asked rice said that I cannot tell you the number. Of men and women who have sent to me I was that girl I was that bowl. I can't stand on that stay. And allows certain conversations to be taking place because remember I remembering this comes. About desegregation. I have been going on for weeks. Beatrice she's not dropping this. No I'm the interview was about roughly eleven under our hour and she talked about the subject. At length you'll have to check it out tomorrow at 7 AM when it airs live but it was very interesting and he's he's mentioned. The vice president at length in Howland was becoming something all of the personal it seems. It's very interesting if not then and it's going away I was with her last night in Brooklyn and her fund raiser at the blood Brooklyn bowl and there. Several attendees including the DJ had a picture of a younger. Connell a hair is this season and use saying and this post debate something that's become kind of a mainstay on the campaign trail. She's also I'm trying to step up her policy propose you've been criticized for not having us specifics out there she's trying to put some. More forward to get some momentum and she just released a plan tell us about it on the rape kit backlogs that she would address that her first your first year in office. Nasty just put out that today and me she's what I number of other policy proposals this week as well to the joint policy proposal is a OC. I am so it it it it's interesting any senator Harris is really. Speeding up the policy. And you'll have to check up interview tomorrow but she did have a very interesting jab. At Elizabeth Warren on her policy proposal is well saying that she puts out very specific policy proposals. Not just. Not just general off policy. And she's fighting back trying to get out from under that criticism Beatrice thank you let's go now. To the campaign a bus show with Avery harper she's on the road with. I Kearse in Gillibrand headed to Cleveland got wrong earlier she's on the way to Cleveland there's. Avery so ever tell us what this is all about Gillibrand has really struggled in the polls and she's. Looking to jump start things with this tour and a new TV yet. Will Olson earn or lose it but Turkey it's bigger. And and then she says she wants it comes people weird our she wants you to talk about the issues that matter that mrs. I've seen the date to restate its work. All of which are broken promises Herbert go in some places are that struck want when he sixteen. I'm speaking to issues and fat beats Gillibrand campaign says they left unfulfilled the administration some in the Pittsburgh. We were talking about pharmaceutical. Company and a rising cost health care and shrugs young's heart we're talking about. The outsourcing labor layoffs right. Pit stop before it gets cool but we're going to tire factory that was owned back one of the attendees of the Youngstown table so that it's about. Speak to specific issues and each are on a contract to see senator Gillibrand and. And she certainly trying to capitalize and some of those rural voters in those areas which are so critical for Democrats to win an election. I Avery harper take you so much are Kirsten Gillibrand reporter among others on the road with her thank you Avery will be back with you. I thanks for joining us here in the briefing room on this Thursday he catches every day 3:30 eastern time right here on ABC news live download the ABC news apathy don't have it. Easy way to follow us to track all the latest breaking news is pushed the live button. A down at the bottom of course Ross on who roku apple TV FaceBook watch all those places. IE if you're at home surfing around at night and Devin Dwyer and Washington. But to see you tomorrow.

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