President Donald Trump dropped his campaign to add a controversial citizenship question to the United States Census and will instead seek citizenship data through other means.

Trump announced the news during a scheduled press conference in the Rose Garden to discuss “the census and citizenship.” Attorney General William Barr made an appearance as well.

The Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from including a question asking whether or not respondents were U.S. citizens on the grounds that the reasoning provided by the government was inadequate and “contrived.” Government officials originally gave up on the inclusion after the ruling, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announcing that the 2020 census had gone into print without the question. These employees were blindsided a day later when Trump tweeted that the statements saying the government had given up on the question were false, forcing the DOJ and Commerce Department to reverse course and scramble to figure out a way to add the controversial question.


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Many of the proposed methods of including the citizenship query caused outrage in the legal community and were sure to trigger another court battle, potentially even requiring another Supreme Court ruling. The situation became even more complicated when the DOJ’s attempt to swap out its legal team was denied by the judge overseeing the case, an unusual course of action both for the government and the judge.

Trump’s decision to give up on the question marks a victory for the left, as scholars agreed that the citizenship question would scare undocumented immigrants into not filling out the form, thereby undercounting the population in urban areas where migrants commonly live. As regions with high numbers of undocumented immigrants usually vote Democrat, the underrepresentation that would come from the citizenship question would lower the number of representatives and the amount of federal funding that the census results allocate.

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