Gorka: Census immigration question 'isn't about rousting people with ICE agents'

Former White House aide Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaGorka criticizes reporter after heated Rose Garden exchange Trump declares Gorka 'wins big' after clash with reporters in Rose Garden Trump social media summit attendees clash with reporters in Rose Garden MORE pushed back this week on criticism of the Trump administration's move to add a citizenship question on the 2020 census, saying it is not about "rousting people with ICE agents."

"Why do you hold a census? To count human heads, and you have to know why they're there," Gorka told Hill.TV hosts Juanita Tolliver and Buck Sexton on Thursday.

"This isn't about rousting people with ICE agents," he said, referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "It's about knowing who lives in America; otherwise, don't hold a census."

"This costs you, the taxpayer, tens of millions of dollars. If you don't ask, 'Why are you here? Under what status are you here?' Don't waste my money, don't waste your money," he said. "It's a charade. It's a farce."

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week over the citizenship question.

The Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, argues it has the authority to ask questions and collect data on citizenship.

The department also says the citizenship numbers are needed to assist with the Justice Department's enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

Several cities and states oppose asking residents about their citizenship status. They argue the question could prevent undocumented immigrants from filling out the decennial survey, which would lead to a faulty count of the U.S. population.

Census data is used to determine federal funding for states and municipalities, as well as a state's congressional representation.

— Julia Manchester