The Census Bureau offered new details this week on how it will try to implement President Trump’s plan to help states diminish the political power of immigrant communities.
The disclosures came in the form of a regulatory notice posted Monday that was tough to decipher unless you’re steeped in the mechanics of the Census Bureau’s role in determining how political power is doled out across the country.
In it, the Census Bureau gave new information about how it will release citizenship data that Trump ordered it to produce. After he lost the legal fight to add a citizenship question to the census, President Trump directed the Census Bureau to collect the data based on existing government records — a project Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had already put in motion.
In doing so, Trump made clear what was long believed to be the endgame of a census citizenship question: to produce data that states can use to draw districts that have an equal number of citizens, rather than an equal total population. Such a change to redistricting — while wonky — would have enormous electoral consequences by allowing GOP-controlled states to shift political representation away from growing immigrant communities and towards whiter, more conservative parts regions.