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Trump Administration Releases Explosive Emails About Citizenship Question

New emails confirm Commerce Department pushed to include citizenship question in 2020 census.

July 25, 2018

On July 23, 2018, the Department of Commerce and Census Bureau filed more than 2,400 pages of internal documents as part of a federal lawsuit filed by a group of states challenging the proposed addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. 

The first cache of documents significantly undermines Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s original claim that addition of the citizenship question came at the request of the Justice Department and was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act.

For example, in a May 2, 2017 email, Ross expressed his frustration to Earl Comstock, director of the department’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning:



In response, Comstock reassured Ross that the department would get the citizenship question in place: 



You can view the full set of documents here.

The government is expected to provide additional documents by July 26, 2018. 

A total of six lawsuits are currently challenging the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.


Update: On July 27, 2018, the Department of Commerce and Census Bureau submitted the rest of the supplemental materials in New York v. United States Department of Commerce. You can download the documents here.