House Democrats grill “Census director on Trump order to exclude undocumented immigrants from apportionment Former Census directors warn the directive could result in flawed count”

From the Washington Post:

At an often contentious emergency hearing Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers pressed the director of the Census Bureau on how he will follow last week’s presidential directive to change the way the decennial census is used for congressional apportionment.

Bureau Director Steven Dill­ingham told the House Oversight Committee that he had no advance notice of President Trump’s memorandum, which directs the Commerce Department to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted next year when Congress reapportions a decade’s division of House seats. . . .

Committee Democrats also questioned Dillingham about fears that the government has reversed its stance on a deadline extension for census data to be delivered. In April, when much of the country was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, the bureau suspended many of its survey operations and asked for a four-month extension to deliver the data to the president.

By law, the deadline for its delivery is Dec. 31 of the census year, but because the bureau has had to postpone its door-to-door knocking by several months, several of its top officials have said it is no longer possible to meet that deadline. Census experts say the count could be compromised if the bureau is rushed to meet the December date.

A four-month delay could hamstring any plan to exclude undocumented immigrants if Trump is defeated and a new administration takes over in January, before the data becomes available to use for reapportionment.

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