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Why Trump’s Attempt to Shorten the Census Deadline Is Bad for Minorities

Why Trump’s Attempt to Shorten the Census Deadline Is Bad for Minorities

Judge Lucy Koh of U.S. District Court for Northern District of California has issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Trump administration from moving the Census deadline up by a month, maintaining the deadline on October 31st. Earlier, the Census Bureau had released a memorandum calling for the deadline to be changed to September 31st, citing a need to provide population data to the White House by December 31st.

This move to shorten Census reporting time caused backlash from many who claimed it would cause drastic errors in data collection. Insufficient time in data collection could cause serious problems with counting residents. The concern for an accurate Census is valid: the once a decade survey allots billions of dollars for infrastructure, schools, and public service for communities across America. Miscounting marginalized communities could lead to devastating consequences with severe underfunding. Especially in a year fraught with natural disasters and a global pandemic, collecting data has been harder than ever.

The concern for an accurate Census is valid: the once a decade survey allots billions of dollars for infrastructure, schools, and public service for communities across America. Miscounting marginalized communities could lead to devastating consequences with severe underfunding.

In addition, the Trump administration has also pushed for a state by state count of undocumented immigrants alongside the Census. The numbers would be removed from the Census count, and then sent to Congress for reapportionment purposes. This could result in vast redistricting across America, although the 14th Amendment stipulates that redistricting can only occur with a count of all persons who live in the state, regardless of citizenship status. The potential count mimics an earlier battle over including a citizenship question in the Census which was ultimately rejected.

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Please be sure to fill out the Census online at Census.gov!

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