In his quest to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, President Trump pivoted toward a backup plan Thursday.

He announced an executive action that orders government agencies to hand over citizenship information to the Department of Commerce. 

"We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete and accurate account of the non-citizen population, including databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration," President Trump said.

Texas Tech Professor Miguel Levario, who unsuccessfully challenged Congressman Arrington as a Democrat last year, said President Trump is not trying to save face here.

Instead, he said he believes President Trump accomplished exactly what he set out to do.

"It's the fact that he put it out there. It's going to scare some people to not even touch the census, regardless of whether or not the question is in there," Levario said.

President Trump added he did not want to waste time on a U.S. Supreme Court decision, and the administration's efforts to get non-citizen information is still moving forward, even if it is through a different approach.