The president announced Thursday that he would instead issue an executive order eliminating “long-standing obstacles to data sharing” and mandating various departments and agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, turn over existing databases to compile the numbers.
“They must furnish all legally accessible records in their possession immediately. We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the noncitizen population,” he said, speaking to reporters from the Rose Garden. “…We have great knowledge in many of our agencies. We will leave no stone unturned.”
Despite Thursday’s announcement, the president remained stubborn on the census issue, claiming, “There used to be a time when you could proudly declare I am a citizen of the United States. Now they are trying to erase the very existence of a very important word and a very important thing, citizenship.”