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Census Bureau closes the 2020 data collection window a month earlier

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The US Census Bureau shortens its data collection schedule for the 2020 census by a month shorter because legislation that would have extended the deadlines of the National Chief Count in the U.S. Senate. The move is worrying for researchers, politicians, and others who say the change will miss hard-to-count communities, including minorities and immigrants, and provide less accurate and reliable data.

“This is nothing but a disgusting seizure of power by a government determined to maintain its volatile political power at all costs.”

– Julie Menin, New York City Census Director

The Census Bureau said late on Monday that the knock and the ability for households to respond to the questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail will end in late September, allowing the agency to reach the end of the year in numbers used for redrawing. congressional districts and allocating federal funds.

People’s experts and civil rights activists are concerned that earlier terms could affect the thoroughness of the census, which determines how $ 1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed and how many congressional districts each state gets.

“This is nothing but a disgusting seizure of power by a government committed to preserving its volatile political power at all costs,” said Julie Menin, New York City census director.

But Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham said the agency wanted to achieve the same level of response as in previous censuses. The agency provides additional training and rewards door knockers who work as much as possible. “We will improve the speed of our count without sacrificing completeness,” said Dillingham.

Earlier this year, due to pandemic delays, the Census Bureau suspended the completion of field operations for the main count once a decade from late July to late October.

The agency also asked Congress in April to extend the deadline for handing in the distribution data used to sign congressional districts from December 31, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Top Census Bureau officials have said it would be impossible by the end of the year, and that the agency expected two-fold support for the request.

“Ending the census early increases the likelihood of a significant underturning that could rob the city and its residents of essential funding and political representation.”

– Mike Feuer, Los Angeles attorney

The request has been adopted by the Democratic-controlled House as part of coronavirus law, but is now stalled in the Senate. The omission of the chamber coincides with a memorandum that Trump issued last month to try to exclude people living illegally in the U.S. from the redesign of congressional districts.

Civil rights groups, states, cities and individuals have filed at least half a dozen lawsuits challenging the memorandum as unconstitutional and an attempt to limit the power of Latinos and immigrants of color.

The petition to Congress also asked to extend the deadline for the submission of data used to sign legislative and local districts from March 30, 2021 to July 31, 2021, but the Census Bureau is now seeking those responsibilities to be completed by the end of March. .

“Ending the count early will increase the likelihood of a significant bottom margin that could deprive the city and its residents of vital funding and political representation,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who joined one of the lawsuits. who challenge Trump’s order.

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