Trump administration cuts census timeline in a political ploy
Contributor: Marcia Avner
The 2020 Census has been under repeated assaults from the administration. Once the courts tossed out the effort to add a citizenship question to the census in 2019, Trump immediately issued Executive Order 13880 telling the Census Bureau to use administrative records from federal agencies and other others sources to create a new database on citizens, non-citizens, and those in the country illegally.Then on July 21, the President issued a memo that said undocumented immigrants should not be counted for apportionment – the process that provides the number of Congressional seats each state receives.
Now Trump and his enablers are cutting back the time for conducting the census. Because of COVID-19, the administration decided to extend the timeline for completing the census, with the count to end October 31st, 2020. Makes sense. This additional time is needed to reach historically undercounted people - children, low income people, Native Americans, immigrants, people of color. Lots of community organizations have been working hard to get a complete and accurate count, and they expected to have 3 more months to do this in the era of masks and distancing. But:this week Trump reversed course and announced cutting the date for ending the count to September 30th. Why? So that Trump gets the data by December 31st and then can decide on reapportionment - how many Congressional seats each state gets.
The only solution to this assault on democracy is for the Senate to agree pass the extension in the next COVID bill. Click here to read the Washington Post’s take on this political ploy.