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Trump likely to ban undocumented immigrants from being counted in census, reports say

The president's administration tried to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census until the Supreme Court weighed in.

WASHINGTON — Undocumented immigrants could be excluded from being counted in this year's census by an executive order President Trump is expected to issue, according to news reports.

Reuters and Politico reported the exact timing of the order is unclear but that Trump could issue it as soon as Friday night. 

Reuters' source familiar with the situation spoke on condition of anonymity and did not have specific details of the order.

It would not be the Trump administration's first effort to limit the imprint of people who came to live in the U.S. from another country and don't have citizenship or other identifying official documents. 

Last year, the Supreme Court blocked his attempt to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. The president tweeted then that it "Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census." 

The administration is also asking states to share driver's license information with the Census Bureau to help determine the citizenship status of every U.S. resident.

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Trump ordered the Census Bureau to gather citizenship data from the administrative records of federal and state agencies after the Supreme Court spiked the question's appearance on the 2020 census questionnaire.

On Thursday, Iowa, South Carolina and South Dakota joined Nebraska in agreeing to share the information with the federal government. Nebraska had been the sole state to sign an agreement with the Census Bureau.

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable with people positively impacted by law enforcement, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP)

Attorney Jeffrey Wice, a census expert and Democratic redistricting adviser, told Reuters that Trump would probably be sued if he moves to change the rules.

The Constitution requires a census headcount of residents every decade. It's used to determine Congressional representation as well as allocating government resources, like deciding where to build schools and fire departments. Democrats and other critics of Trump's attempts to add a citizenship question said it would discourage people of color, especially Latinos and immigrants, from filling out the census.

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