Buttigieg: Trump adding citizenship question to census 'racially and politically motivated'

Democratic White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFive top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Abrams helps launch initiative to train women activists, organizers This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election MORE on Thursday slammed reports that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE is set to issue an executive order to force inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

"This is racially and politically motivated manipulation of the census," the South Bend, Ind., mayor told MSNBC's Craig Melvin. "It makes the whole country worse off. It leads to under-representation. It will lead to an undercount.”

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"And in a community like mine, an industrial Midwest city that is finally growing but would not be seen to be if you netted out immigration, it threatens our ability to get access to resources," he added.

A White House official told The Hill that Trump is planning to announce the executive order during a news conference late Thursday despite the Supreme Court recently blocking the question from being added to the 2020 census.

Any executive action taken by Trump is likely to be met with another round of legal challenges.

After the Supreme Court's decision, Cabinet agencies announced they would move ahead with printing census forms without the question.

That decision was quickly reversed when Trump suddenly ordered the Justice Department to find a way to include the question.

Critics, like Buttigieg, have said the question would result in undercounts of immigrants and minorities.