Trump bypasses census debacle with executive order demanding gov’t data on citizen numbers and non-citizens

(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

President Donald Trump threw a fastball at the left on Thursday by announcing that, instead of continuing to pursue plans to try and add a citizenship question to the U.S. Census — plans that were foiled by the Supreme Court late last month — he intends to approach the problem from a better angle.

The new approach calls for all federal agencies to submit their existing records on citizens and non-citizens to the Department of Commerce. According to the president, the U.S. Census Bureau has projected that this method of tallying America’s population would be 90 percent effective.

“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 non-citizens in our country,” he said during a presser in the Rose Garden that afternoon.


” They must furnish all legally accessible records in their possession immediately. We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the non-citizen population, including databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.”

“We have great knowledge in many of our agencies. We will leave no stone unturned. The Census Bureau projected that using previously available records, it could determine citizenship for 90 percent of our population or more.

He added that this was not a capitulation: “Today I’m here to say we are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population.”

The message was not heard by the media’s “journalists.” Echoing their congressional Democrat allies, the majority of “journalists” rushed to portray the president’s executive order as a stinging defeat:

Fox News was one of a few, rare networks to cover the events accurately:

The key provision of the order issued by the president on Thursday is that it “eliminates long-standing obstacles to data sharing.”

“Ultimately, this will allow us to have an even more complete count of citizens than through asking the single question alone. It will be, we think, far more accurate,” he said.

He could very well be right. The problem with adding a citizenship question to the U.S. Census has always been that illegal aliens could simply lie about their status.

According to the Washington Examiner, the actual order allows for a plethora of critical information to be sent to the Department of Commerce from each of the following fellow departments:

  • Department of Homeland Security: National-level file of Lawful Permanent Residents, naturalizations, F1 and M1 nonimmigrant visas, national-level file of customs and border arrival/departure transaction data”
  • Department of State: refugee and asylum visas, national-level passport application data
  • Social Security Administration: Master beneficiary records”
  • Department of Health and Human Services: CMS Medicaid and CHIP Information System”

Combined, this information could very well provide a far more accurate overview of what the population looks like. As a result, the EO has garnered praise from the president’s supporters.


Speaking at Thursday’s Rose Garden presser, Attorney General Bill Barr added to the praise.

“I applaud the President for recognizing in his executive order that including a question on the census is not the only way to obtain this vital information,” he said.

“The course the President has chosen today will bring unprecedented resources to bear on determining how many citizens and non-citizens are in our country, and will yield the best data the government has had on citizenship in many decades. That information will be used for countless purposes, as the President explained in his remarks today.”

Listen to the whole presser below:


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