Home / US / Ross asked whether ending the census earlier would produce numbers in Trump’s current term

Ross asked whether ending the census earlier would produce numbers in Trump’s current term



Ross wrote in an email to several senior Census Bureau officials that he appreciated their “excellent briefing this afternoon,” where they informed him that ending the census on October 5 would mean that up to 10 states would not meet the standard. for a complete count.

But instead of asking about the consequences of an incomplete count, Ross asked about the consequences of allowing the count to continue.

The email was released on Tuesday at the end of a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s efforts to end the census earlier than expected.

The exchange comes when the National Urban League and other groups that have sued Ross accused him of attempting to end the census early so that the numbers are produced during Trump̵

7;s tenure. They say this could allow the administration to exclude undocumented immigrants from the tally used to allocate seats in Congress – something an administration under Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden might not do if it wins the election and the numbers are instead finalized under. his surveillance.

Government lawyers dismissed that claim as outside the scope of this scheduling dispute.

“As I prepare to make the decision, I would like to make sure I understand correctly that your team’s opinion is that if we stay on the pitch beyond 5 October, we will not be able to meet the legal deadline of December 31,” Ross wrote. .

Ron Jarmin, the highest career official at the Census Bureau, replied that finishing the count by October 5 would allow for the December 31 date to be respected.

Officials had presented the prediction that ending the 2020 census with early counting risks an incomplete count of as many as 10 states at a meeting on Monday afternoon, according to internal documents the Commerce Department and Census Bureau made. public on Tuesday.

States that may not be completed are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Bringing all 50 states to the Census Bureau’s goal of counting 99 percent of households could take until October 11, office officials told Ross.

“Even for states with completion rates above 99 percent, there will be sub-state areas that are substantially below 99 percent, particularly tribal areas due to COVID-19 restrictions,” the presentation said.

They also told Ross that ending the national tally on October 5 was the last possible hope for munching the numbers by the end of this year, which Ross had asked them to do.

Within hours of that presentation, Ross set the October 5th date, internal documents show.

Uncertainty about how much time is left to count the nation’s population and knocking on the doors of families who have not yet responded has injected an unprecedented level of chaos in the last few weeks of counting.
Federal law set a deadline of December 31 to produce the count used to divide seats in Congress, but Census Bureau officials have claimed for months that the date is impossible to reach while producing an accurate count of the nation’s population.

They and the Trump administration had asked Congress for an extension due to the coronavirus pandemic which would have included accepting responses until October 31.

The administration then withdrew the request around the same time that President Donald Trump announced in late July that he would seek to exclude undocumented immigrants from the final figures. The Census Bureau official who oversees the field workers wrote at the time that “any thinking person who believes we can provide the breakdown by 12/31 has a mental deficiency or a political motivation.”
In early August, Ross decided that the count would be considered finished at the end of September. A federal court blocked that deadline from going into effect, but did not specifically reinstate the October 31 deadline.

The federal judge in charge of the proceedings has planned to declare the date of December 31st unconstitutional.

This story and title have been updated with new developments on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision.

CNN’s Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.


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