Juan Williams: Trump 'scaremongering,' using executive order to 'go around Supreme Court' on census
Juan Williams on Trump's executive order
President Trump's executive order asking federal agencies to aid in the accounting of the citizen and non-citizen population is a scare tactic, according to Juan Williams.
Trump issued the proclamation to circumvent the Supreme Court after it temporarily blocked the administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Williams claimed Thursday on "The Five."
"People are scaremongering and that is what this president is doing," he said.
"Hillary Clinton said today this is weaponizing fear and bigotry -- and I could not agree more.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has said 'no'. He is going around the Supreme Court, around the Congress."
The host added the presence of a citizenship question could make some people shy away from responding to the Constitutionally-mandated decennial count.
"It intimidates people who should be participating in our census to find how many people live in our country," he said, alleging it could "depress" accounting of "non-whites."
Expressing disagreement, host Jesse Watters said the citizenship question first appeared on the census when James Monroe was president.
"They've been doing this since the 1820s," he said, adding he thought critics of the question are failing to differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants.
At the White House Thursday afternoon, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr flanked Trump as he announced the order.
The move would make use of "vast" federal databases and free up information sharing among various federal agencies concerning who they know is in the country, Trump said.
"Today I'm here to say we are not backing down in our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population," the president told reporters, after slamming Democrats he said were playing politics with national security.
He called legal opposition to adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census "meritless."
Speaking after Trump, Barr said the information collected via the executive order could be useful in determining the makeup of the Electoral College and congressional apportionment.
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.