Thwarted by the federal courts – including the U.S. Supreme Court – President Donald Trump is expected to claim he has unilateral power to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census at a Rose Garden press conference Thursday afternoon.
NBC News reports it has "confirmed that at the news conference the president is expected to announce his executive action to add the question."
"Some type of direct action by Trump has been one of several avenues explored by the administration to place the question on the decennial population survey following the late June Supreme Court ruling," CNN reports.
It is not clear the President has the legal authority to issue an executive order to add the question.
The Supreme Court ruled the Trump administration's stated reason for adding the question was not valid.
Experts say Trump's insistence on adding the question is to undercount Hispanics, undocumented immigrants, and minorities who might be afraid to respond to the citizenship question.
By undercounting those groups, white Republicans would benefit, according to the Republican activist who came up with the idea.
Last week Trump said his "number one" reason for the question was to aid in congressional redistricting.
The Washington Post adds that on Wednesday "a group of conservative lawmakers wrote a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr urging him to support President Trump in adding the citizenship question to the census by executive order."
The letter claims, falsely, the citizenship question is “germane to carrying out our duty to apportion representatives.”
The Census counts all people in the United States, not just citizens. The number of congressional representatives a state is allotted is determined by the number of people residing in that state, not by the number of citizens.