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Trump drops citizenship question

Published : Saturday, 13 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 122

WASHINGTON, July 12: US President Donald Trump backed down Thursday from a push to force a controversial question on citizenship onto the 2020 census following a backlash by civil rights campaigners.
Critics said the administration wanted to add the question to suppress participation by immigrant communities in the once-a-decade survey that helps officials determine where to allocate federal resources.
"We are pursuing a new option to ensure a complete and timely count of the non-citizen population," the president told a news conference at the White House.
Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court seemingly ended a legal and political battle over the issue. It concluded that the Trump administration's stated reasons for including the question were "contrived," and blocked the move.
Stung by the conservative-majority high court's 5-4 decision, Trump raised the possibility of forcing the issue with an executive order, or even postponing the census.
The stakes are immense: the census helps determine the disbursement of $675 billion in federal subsidies and the number of seats in the US House of Representatives allocated to each state.
A question on citizenship, which was dropped more than 60 years ago, could stop between 1.6 and 6.5 million immigrants from participating or answering truthfully, according to census        officials.    -AFP

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