Trump says he's mulling executive order for census

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he is "very seriously" considering an executive order to try to force the inclusion of a citizenship question as part of the 2020 Census.

Speaking to reporters as he departed the White House for a weekend in New Jersey, Trump said the idea is among four or five options he's considering as he pushes the issue.

"It's one of the ways that we're thinking about doing it, very seriously," he said, despite the fact that the government has already begun the process of printing the census questionnaire without that question.

Trump's administration has faced numerous roadblocks to adding the question, including last week's Supreme Court ruling that blocked its inclusion, at least temporarily. But Trump has insisted his administration push forward, and suggested Friday officials might be able to add an addendum to the questionnaire with the question after it's already printed.

An executive order would not, by itself, override court rulings blocking the inclusion of the citizenship question. But such an action from Trump would perhaps give administration lawyers a new basis to try to persuade federal courts that the question could be included.

"Executive orders do not override decisions of the Supreme Court," Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a statement Friday. MALDEF is representing plaintiffs in the census lawsuit in Maryland.

Opponents of the citizenship question say it would discourage immigrant participation, resulting in inaccurate figures for a count that determines the distribution of some $675 billion in federal spending, as well as how many congressional districts each state gets.

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Donald Trump at the G20 summit
President Donald Trump arrives to greet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during family photo session with other leaders and attendees at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. President Donald Trump look on during a bilateral meeting with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a bilateral meeting with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, speaks to Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a working lunch at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday, June 28, 2019. Kiyoshi Ota/Pool via REUTERS
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump walk off with fellow leaders after a family photo session at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
US President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to the family photo at the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron watches as President Donald Trump shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bbefore a working session at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump, right, listens to a reporter's question during a bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, second from left, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, third from left, listen. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump, left, sitting next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, speaks during the G-20 summit event on the Digital Economy in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as they gather for a group photo at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump talks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a group photo at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump, right, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump speaks to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker during a session at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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