Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli said Friday that the White House wants a citizenship question on the 2020 Census to help deal "financially and legally" with immigrants.
“Frankly, as part of the ongoing debate over how we deal financially and legally with the burden of those who are not here legally,” Cuccinelli told Fox News' "Mornings with Maria."
"That is a relevant issue.”
Trump is "determined" about including the citizenship question after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked his initial effort to include it, said Cuccinelli, and will most likely find "another administrative way" to make it happen.
"He was offended, rightfully so, that the Supreme Court seems to be doing the executive branch's job here," said Cuccinelli. "They're trying to write census questions now."
The question had been included for years, said Cuccinelli, and it's important to know who is in the country legally for "voter allocation and because of the requirements of the Voting Rights Act."
He added that his agency deals with legal immigration and asylum, "and knowing where to put our resources makes us more efficient as well."
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump last month delayed planned ICE deportation raids, with a deadline of this Friday to start them, but Cuccinelli said he did not know if they'd start immediately.
"Really, with the end of the two weeks, the president has simply taken the position of 'now do your job,' with ICE, said Cuccinelli. "And (Deputy Director) Matt Albence and the ICE officers who are dedicated to that mission will do it at the appropriate time..(and he) is ready and raring to go and he's preparing his agency to recommence doing what they view as their job."
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