While the Census Bureau’s in-person counts of households that have not yet responded was scheduled to end on Oct. 31, the report said that officials were changing that to Sept. 30, a month earlier than planned. Three Census Bureau employees went to NPR after being informed of the changes, speaking “on the condition of anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs.”
The Census Bureau replied to the report about the date change with a non-answer consisting of a whole bunch of words, saying: “We are currently evaluating our operations to enable the Census Bureau to provide this data in the most expeditious manner and when those plans have been finalized we will make an announcement.” But it’s clear what kind of future damage could happen from the move.
“The condensed door-knocking time frame increases the risk of leaving out many people of color, immigrants and other members of historically undercounted groups from numbers that are collected once a decade to determine each state’s share of congressional seats, Electoral College votes and an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal tax dollars for Medicare, Medicaid and other public services,” the report said.
“Trump admin rigging census to preserve white power,” journalist Ari Berman responded to the report, which said that “[a]bout 4 out of 10 households nationwide have still not participated in the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the U.S., and self-response rates are even lower in many communities.”
The administration is currently facing at least four lawsuits on another census-related move: Trump’s unconstitutional attempt to erase undocumented immigrants from the count.
“We have spent countless hours and dollars encouraging our community members to complete Census 2020,” Pastor Dieufort J. Fleurissaint of Haitian-Americans United said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “With a stroke of a pen, the Trump administration has undermined all of our efforts in a racist attempt to prevent our communities from receiving the representation and resources they need and deserve. This cannot stand.”
“This administration will do anything to try to undermine our democracy,” New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat tweeted about the NPR report. “We will fight this and put an end to this President’s undemocratic actions. We must have a full count!”