Trump bemoans 'very sad time for America' after citizenship question dropped from census

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE on Tuesday said it was "a very sad time for America" after his administration confirmed that a citizenship question would be dropped from the 2020 census.

"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! Going on for a long time," Trump tweeted.

Trump added that he has asked the Justice and Commerce departments “to do whatever is necessary” to bring the issue “to a successful conclusion,” even though officials have already announced the question will not be included in next year’s census.

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The administration said earlier Tuesday that it would allow the printing of census materials to go forward just days after the Supreme Court ruled against the question’s inclusion, citing an inadequate explanation from the Commerce Department.

The decision had essentially ended speculation that Trump might try to delay the decennial census, an idea he floated after the high court’s ruling.

“We can confirm that the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question, and that the printer has been instructed to begin the printing process,” Justice Department attorney Kate Bailey wrote in an email sent to groups challenging the question, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill.

The announcement marked a significant defeat for Trump, who had said the question was essential to determine who was living legally and illegally in the U.S., even though it did not ask about immigration status.

It was a major victory for progressive and civil liberties groups, who said that including the question would result in an undercount of the U.S. population. They argued that including the question would strike fear in immigrant communities and discourage them from participating in the census.