Trump backs down on adding citizenship question to census

President Donald Trump will instead take executive action that instructs the Commerce Department to obtain an estimate of U.S. citizenship through other means.
1:46 | 07/11/19

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Transcript for Trump backs down on adding citizenship question to census
President trump now backing down on his demand that a citizenship question be added to the census. But what the president is now planning. Here's our chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: After weeks of vowing to fight and win in the courts, today, president trump backed down, saying the census will not include the question "Are you a U.S. Citizen?" Far left Democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst. Reporter: Opponents of including the question argued millions of people, mostly minorities, would be reluctant to take the census if it included a citizenship question. It is designed to intimidate families, particularly hispanic families, from answering the basic questionnaire in the hope that they won't, and that they won't be counted. Reporter: That could have a profound impact, since census numbers determine how many seats each state gets in the house of representatives. And how federal money is distributed. Recently, the supreme court blocked the question. Chief justice John Roberts calling the administration's argument for including it "Contrived." And today, the white house acknowledged they would about have been able to fight this in court and still get the census done on time. President trump announced a plan B. I'm hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the department of commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and noncitizens in our country. Reporter: Now, the administration will use existing government data, including information from the irs and social security administration, to make an estimate of the number of citizens and noncitizens in the united States. That is a far cry from changing the U.S. Census questionnaire. David? Jonathan Karl at the white house. Jon, thank you. Meantime, Jon, as you know,

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

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