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Four states are sharing driver’s license info to help find out who’s a citizen

The arrangements with South Carolina, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska are not expected to involve information about unauthorized immigrants.

  • By Hansi Lo Wang/NPR
President Donald Trump speaks during a

Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

President Donald Trump speaks during a "Salute to America" event on the South Lawn of the White House, Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Washington.

(Washington) — To help figure out the U.S. citizenship status of every adult living in the country, the Trump administration has made agreements to accumulate driver’s license and state identification card information from states including Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina and South Dakota, NPR has learned.

In the past year since the administration failed in its attempt to add the now-blocked citizenship question to 2020 census forms, the Census Bureau has been gathering state and federal records to produce anonymized citizenship data under directives from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the bureau, and an executive order Trump issued in July 2019.

In November, Nebraska became the first state to voluntarily agree to transfer data from its state driver’s license and state ID records to the U.S. Census Bureau, as NPR reported last year.

The bureau signed a similar data-sharing agreement with Iowa in March, the bureau confirmed to NPR in a statement on Wednesday.

In April, South Dakota Public Safety Secretary Craig Price — who was appointed to President Trump’s commission on law enforcement this year — signed an agreement to share information from driver’s licenses and state ID cards with the bureau, according to a copy of the memorandum of understanding the state’s Department of Public Safety provided to NPR.

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