Census Bureau Misses Deadline, Jeopardizes Trump's Plan To Bar Illegal Aliens from Count
The U.S. Census Bureau will fail to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for reporting data used to draw congressional districts, the agency announced Wednesday.
If the data is not submitted before President Donald Trump will likely leave office on Jan. 20, his attempt to exclude illegal immigrants from the tallies used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives could be in jeopardy, The Associated Press reported.
The bureau said in a statement that it is aiming to deliver its data “in early 2021, as close to the statutory deadline as possible.”
It is the first time in 44 years that the deadline has been missed.
“This important process, which has been a part of every decennial census, is critical to produce data that can be used for apportioning seats in the House of Representatives among the states. The schedule for reapportioning this data is not static. Projected dates are fluid. We continue to process the data collected,” the statement said.
Census Bureau documents released by the House Oversight Committee in early December indicated that the data may not be delivered until late January, possibly giving Joe Biden the chance to reverse the Trump administration’s efforts to bar illegal immigrants from the count.
One document said that the likely reporting date is Jan. 23, three days after Biden will likely be sworn in. Another detailed 13 “anomalies” that the agency still needed to address.
The Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s bid to alter the census count in July 2019 but left open the possibility for the administration to present future arguments.
The court punted on the issue again earlier in December, rejecting a challenge to block the administration’s efforts because its plans remained unclear.
Joe Biden has spoken out against the move, claiming that it ignores the Constitution, which does not say that census counts should be limited to U.S. citizens.
“Congress must give the experts at the Census the time to make sure everyone gets counted correctly,” Biden said earlier this month.
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