President Donald Trump will no longer pursue adding a question on citizenship to the 2020 US census questionnaire.
Instead, he said he had directed officials to obtain the information through an executive order for government agencies, as court challenges would have delayed a census.
“We will leave no stone unturned,” Mr Trump said.
The retreat follows a long fight over the inclusion of the question, which the Supreme Court had blocked in June.
The order will require government agencies to hand over documents regarding citizenship.
“As a result of today’s executive order we will be able to ensure the 2020 census generates an accurate count of how many citizens, non-citizens and illegal aliens are in the United States of America,” Mr Trump said at the White House.
How did the battle unfold?
At the end of last month, the Supreme Court returned the case to the Census Bureau in a 5-4 ruling that noted the reason for including the question seemed “contrived”.
Government lawyers indicated they had dropped the question and officials began printing the 2020 census without it.
But Mr Trump then announced that he might consider an executive order to include the question or find other ways to move…