FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump points to a questioner while taking questions during a news conference following Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday was expected to reverse course and drop plans to add a contentious citizenship question to the 2020 census, but order the government do the survey by other means, ABC News reported.
White House officials declined to comment ahead of the president’s remarks, which were scheduled for 5 p.m. (2100 GMT).
Trump was expected to announce some type of executive action to survey the American public on whether or not they are U.S. citizens, but how that would work was not immediately clear.
The administration’s attempts to add the question had been blocked in the courts because of challenges from some U.S. states and civil rights groups.
The census is used to determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and also affects how billions of dollars in federal funds are doled out across the country.
Critics say that asking about citizenship in the census discriminates against racial minorities and is aimed at giving Republicans an unfair advantage in elections. Trump and his supporters say it makes sense to know how many non-citizens are living in the country.
Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Alistair Bell and Grant McCool