Pelosi: Trump Trying To 'Make America White Again' With Census Citizenship Question

The House speaker called the administration's effort to add the question "disgraceful."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday slammed President Donald Trump’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the U.S. census, calling it a ploy to “make America white again.”

“What you saw on the part of the administration with the citizenship question is disgraceful,” she said during a San Francisco news conference. “But this is about keeping ... you know his hat ― Make America White Again. They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted.”

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Commerce failed to provide sufficient reasoning for its decision to add the question to the 2020 census questionnaire, blocking the move as a result. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has insisted it’s about the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, a claim that has been derided by Democrats and civil rights advocates who believe it is meant to discourage immigrants and minorities from taking part in the decennial count.

The effect could reshape electoral representation within districts as well as shift the allocation of federal spending, potentially leaving communities of color with less political power and financial resources. 

Stressing that point, Pelosi told reporters the Trump administration is targeting migrants.

“They denigrate newcomers to our country, they dishonor the Constitution, they degrade the environment ... they undermine the values of who we are as a country,” she said.

Though Trump said he asked government lawyers whether the census could be delayed, last week Department of Justice attorney Kate Bailey said the president’s plan was a no-go for the 2020 count.

However, The Associated Press reported Monday that Attorney General William Barr sees a way for the administration to add the question, stating that within the coming days, action will be taken.

Barr did not detail the plan, but a senior official told the AP that Trump is expected to send the Commerce Department a memorandum ordering it to move forward with adding the citizenship question.