ORLANDO, Florida – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross says the 2020 census will end October 5, despite a federal judge ruling last week that the number of residents of each U.S. resident can continue through October, the Census Bureau website Monday.
The tweet said that the ability for people to self-respond to the census questionnaire and door knock phase when census counters walk into houses that haven’t responded is targeted on October 5th.
The announcement was made during a virtual hearing in San Jose, California, as a result of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s injunction. The restraining order issued last week overruled the September 30th deadline for termination of staff numbers by the Census Bureau, automatically reverting the deadline to an older Census Bureau plan that included the deadline for termination of field operations on September 31st. October was.
The new October 5 deadline does not necessarily violate the judge’s order, as the injunction just sets the September 30 deadline for field operations as well as a December 31st deadline that the Census Bureau allows for numbers to be submitted Determining the number of congressmen who has suspended seats each state receives in a process known as a split. The census is also used to determine how to distribute $ 1.5 trillion in federal spending annually.
Koh asked federal government attorneys during Monday’s hearing to provide documentation on how the new decision to end the headcount on October 5 was made. When a federal government attorney suggested that decision-making was a moving target with no record, the judge asked, “A one-sentence tweet? Are you saying that this is reason enough to make decisions? A tweet in one sentence?
Given the judge’s interim injunction and an injunction she had previously issued to forbid the Census Bureau from suspending census operations for 2020, it has been decided that the September 30 deadline can no longer be met, August Flentje said , Special Adviser to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General.
“There are daily adjustments and evaluations,” said Flentje.
Koh said in her decision last Thursday that the curtailed timetable imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration would likely produce inaccurate results that would last a decade. She joined civil rights groups and local governments suing the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the statistics bureau, arguing that minorities and others in hard-to-count communities would be missing when the census this month ends.
Federal government lawyers said they appealed the decision. During the hearings, federal government lawyers argued that the number of staff would have to end by September 30 in order to meet the December 31 deadline for submitting the numbers used for the split.
“More than negligent”: census workers describe the logistical nightmare as the deadline
The Department of Commerce’s decision came when US censuses told The Associated Press that they were being pressured to meet the September 30 deadline, even after Koh issued her restraining order.
In New York State, a census officer told their census takers on Friday that the Buffalo office would be operating with a September 30 end date, according to a text received from AP. “Another 5 days (regardless of the status of the court),” says the text.
In Northern California, a manager told the supervisors who worked under him on Sunday, “We’re only three days left on the home stretch,” according to an email from AP.
In the same region, another manager told census officers on Monday that they had 99% of the households in the Santa Rosa region to be completed by Wednesday, including 12,000 households still to be counted in the Mendocino county. On the conference call, area manager Nicole Terrazas asked her superiors to ask their censuses to go to Mendocino County, despite the fact that this part of California is threatened by wildfires.
“We need as much help as possible. We only have three days to do this, ”Terrazas said when an AP reporter overheard a call.
When a census officer asked why they were being pressured by the September 30 deadline when Koh’s injunction banned the end of the census later that month, Terrazas called the judge’s order “something else entirely.”
Other census takers and regulators, including one from Texas, have emailed Koh’s court saying that field operations in their areas are expected to end on September 30th.
In response to the pandemic, last April the Census Bureau postponed the deadline for ending the 2020 census from late July to late October. The office also asked Congress to submit the numbers used for the split from late December to late April.
The deadline extension was passed by the Democratic-controlled House but remained in the Republican-controlled Senate after President Donald Trump issued a memorandum attempting to illegally exclude people in the country from being used in the apportionment census. A three-person jury in New York earlier this month said the memorandum was illegal.