Trump decides to drop citizenship question on 2020 census

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WASHINGTON: After fighting for weeks with Democrats over whether the 2020 census would include a citizenship question, U.S. President Donald Trump dropped the bid on Thursday, opting to gather the information by other means.

In a speech at the White House, Trump said due to litigation and opposition, the U.S. administration would not push for the inclusion of the question in the decennial census.

"These delays would have prevented us from completing the census on time," Trump said. "It's deeply regrettable."

Instead, Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to share information with the U.S. Department of Commerce to collect citizenship-related information.

"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," Trump said.

The census, being the largest and most detailed demographic survey in the country, holds enormous political implications, as electoral maps and the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives will be adjusted to reflect the latest demographic statistics.

The Democrats have rebuked the inclusion of the question, arguing that such action would discourage undocumented immigrants from taking part in the census, thus undermining the credibility of its result.

The Democratic Party traditionally enjoys stronger support in states with larger immigrant communities, such as California and New York. Xinhua