Trump: ‘Sad time’ after controversial 2020 census change abandoned

Protesters gather at the US Supreme Court as justices finish deliberations regarding the 2020 census case on June 27, 2019 at Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)
Updated 03 July 2019

Trump: ‘Sad time’ after controversial 2020 census change abandoned

  • The US Supreme Court ruled that the citizenship question in the 2020 census was not convincing
  • Opponents argued that the question — which has not been included since 1950 — would drive many immigrants to avoid answering out of fear

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Tuesday it was a “very sad time” after the US government gave up a controversial attempt to put a question about citizenship on next year’s census.
The decision, announced earlier in the day, handed a victory to those who argued the new item would lead to discrimination against minority residents.
It followed a Supreme Court ruling that the case for adding the citizenship question was not convincing.
The president wrote on Twitter: “A very sad time for America when the Supreme Court of the United States won’t allow a question of ‘Is this person a Citizen of the United States?’ to be asked on the #2020 Census!”


Trump added he had asked the departments of commerce and justice to “do whatever is necessary to bring this most vital of questions, and this very important case, to a successful conclusion.”
Trump’s initial reaction to the ruling had been to call for a delay in the imminent printing of the 2020 census forms, holding up the census in order to allow time for a new appeal.
That bid has now been dropped, ending any chance of changing the format of the massive, once-every-decade survey.
“We’re glad the #2020Census will begin printing without a citizenship question,” said New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who led a group of states challenging the administration on the issue.
Just this Monday, Trump had been defiant, telling reporters he wanted the census to find out who was a citizen “as opposed to an illegal.”
“It is a big difference to me between being a citizen of the United States and being an illegal,” he said.
Opponents argued that the question — which has not been included since 1950 — would drive many immigrants to avoid answering out of fear of being caught up in Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
This would render them invisible, skewing the population count and resulting in fewer government resources for the areas they live in, while distorting the lines of congressional districts, which are based on numbers of residents.
This was the intention all along, said Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the contest to become the Democratic opponent to Trump in 2020 presidential election.
“Make no mistake, the Trump Administration added a citizenship question to the Census to deliberately cut out the voices of immigrants and communities of color. It’s wrong and goes against our core values as a nation,” the former vice president tweeted.
The Census Bureau’s experts said that 1.6 to 6.5 million immigrants, notably Hispanics, would avoid the census or lie to census takers if faced with the citizenship question.

 


New virus cases in China fall for second day, deaths top 2,000

In this picture taken on February 14, 2020, a Malaysia Airlines hostess (R) wearing a protective face mask checks the temperature of a Chinese passenger before she boards a flight to Beijing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Kuala Lumpur. (AFP)
Updated 5 min 46 sec ago

New virus cases in China fall for second day, deaths top 2,000

  • China may postpone its biggest political meeting of the year, the annual congress due to start in March

BEIJING: New virus cases in China continued to fall Wednesday, with 1,749 new infections and 136 new deaths announced after China’s leader said disease prevention and control was at “a critical time.”
The much-criticized quarantine of a cruise ship in Japan to avoid spreading the virus ends later in the day. The 542 cases on the ship were the most in any place outside of China and medical experts have called the quarantine a failure.
The updated figures on the COVID-19 illness for mainland China bring the total for cases to 74,185 and deaths to 2,004. New cases have fallen to under 2,000 daily for the past two days.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about the efforts to control the outbreak in a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described in state media.
Separately, the UN secretary-general told The Associated Press that the virus outbreak “is not out of control but it is a very dangerous situation.” Antonio Guterres said in an interview in Lahore, Pakistan, that “the risks are enormous and we need to be prepared worldwide for that.”
China has locked down several cities in central Hubei province where the outbreak hit hardest, halting nearly all transportation and movement except for the quarantine efforts, medical care and delivery of food and basic necessities.
China also may postpone its biggest political meeting of the year, the annual congress due to start in March, to avoid having people travel to Beijing while the virus is still spreading. One of the automotive industry’s biggest events, China’s biannual auto show, was postponed, and many sports and entertainment events have been delayed or canceled.
Many countries set up border screenings and airlines canceled flights to and from China to prevent further spread of the disease, which has been detected in around two dozen countries and caused almost 1,000 confirmed cases outside mainland China. Five deaths have been reported outside the mainland, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and France.
The largest number of cases outside China is the 542 on the Diamond Princess at a port near Tokyo.

Hundreds of passengers began leaving the Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday after the end of a much-criticized, two-week quarantine that failed to stop the spread of a new virus among passengers and crew.  Results were still pending for some passengers who’ve been tested for the coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands of people in China and more than 540 on the ship. South Korea evacuated six South Koreans and a Japanese family member from the ship, and they began an additional 14-day quarantine Wednesday. More than 300 American passengers were evacuated earlier and are quarantined in the United States, including at least 14 who had tested positive for the virus.
The US also upgraded its travel advisory for China to Level 4, telling its citizens not to travel to anywhere in the country and advising those currently in China to attempt to depart by commercial means.
“In the event that the situation further deteriorates, the ability of the US Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to US nationals within China may be limited. The United States is not offering chartered evacuation flights from China,” the notice said.
“We strongly urge US citizens remaining in China to stay home as much as possible and limit contact with others, including large gatherings. Consider stocking up on food and other supplies to limit movement outside the home,” the notice said. The US previously flew out scores of its citizens on charter flights from Wuhan but does not have any further plans to do so, it said.
Despite, such warnings, the capital Beijing was showing signs of coming back to life this week, with road traffic at around a quarter of usual up from virtually nothing a week ago. While most restaurants, stores and office buildings remained closed, others had reopened. People entering were required to have their temperatures taken and register their contact information.