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Trump administration ends push for citizenship question on 2020 census

Updated: July 11, 2019 10:23 PM

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he's taking a different approach to count the population of citizens and noncitizens, after ending his bid to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

In an executive order, Trump announced he's ordering every federal department and agency to provide the Commerce Department with all records it requests pertaining to the numbers.

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"It's going to be a huge undertaking, gathering all this information from all these agencies," said demographer Janna Johnson. Johnson is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.

She said the information that will be gathered will likely come from agencies such as the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

RELATED: President Trump abandons bid to include citizenship question on census

Researchers, like Johnson, said for years they've wanted to use this sort of data because you don't have to rely on people filling out a survey.

But after numerous legal challenges and the continued push by the Trump administration to include the question, Johnson said the damage may already be done, especially in places like Minnesota.

"In terms of minority groups of immigrant groups feeling targeted and perhaps more distrustful of government," Johnson said.

Civil rights groups say President Trump's efforts to add a citizenship question to the census have sown fear and discord in vulnerable communities, making the task of an accurate count even harder.

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Kirsten Swanson

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