FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The Census Bureau said it cannot meet President Donald Trump’s deadline to report the number of undocumented immigrants surveyed. Snags in the massive data-processing operation will push completion back to at least Jan. 26 or mid-February, after President-election Joe Biden takes office. The processing anomalies have occurred in past censuses and they will be resolved as quickly as possible, Census Bureau Director Steve Dillingham said in a statement. 

Trump signed a memorandum in July asking the Commerce Department to gather data on undocumented immigrants to remove them from population totals in the final census count. The census determines the number of House of Representatives seats given to each state, as well as how federal funds are distributed. 

Numerous federal lawsuits were filed in opposition to Trump’s memorandum. A New York state-led coalition of states, cities and localities argued the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act by making an “arbitrary and capricious” decision to exclude undocumented immigrants.

Oral arguments in a Supreme Court case on the issue are set for Nov. 30. The Supreme Court will then decide whether to uphold or overturn a lower court order that blocked the Trump administration from removing undocumented immigrants from census population counts. The order said the proposal violates federal laws governing the redrawing of congressional seats, but did not address whether the Trump administration’s directive was consitutional.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Census delay could kill Trump’s plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from count – CNN – 11/19/2020
If the issue delays the bureau’s data processing steps, the incoming Biden administration may be in a position to override the controversial decision by the Trump administration to exclude undocumented immigrants from key tallies such as the apportionment count for how many congressional districts states have.

Census Bureau can’t meet Trump’s deadline for data on undocumented immigrants: report – The Hill – 11/19/2020
The bureau officials said issues in the data-processing, which have occurred in other years, have led to delays that expect to push back the completion of totals until at least Jan. 26 and maybe mid-February. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department oversees the bureau, was told of the postponement on Wednesday evening, the officials and others said.

New Delays In Final Stage Of Census Could Foil Trump’s Plan To Rig It – Talking Points Memo – 11/19/2020
President Trump had been seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from that count, with a policy that several lower courts have deemed illegal in rulings Trump is hoping the Supreme Court will overturn. Excluding undocumented immigrants from that count would decrease the House seats given to immigrant-rich states like California, and increase the representation for whiter, more Republican parts of the country.

Census Officials Doubt They’ll Reach Trump Deadline – Newsmax – 11/19/2020
The Trump administration pushed to complete the 2020 U.S. Census without counting the number of undocumented immigrants in the total population count for states, which is used for determining the number of seats in the House of Representatives. However, this plan likely relies on the census being completed before Trump leaves office, and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said in a statement on Thursday that this is increasingly unlikely to happen.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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