Trump Can’t Erase Undocumented Immigrants From Apportionment Count, But Undercount Threat Looms

Contact: Tamika Turner, [email protected], 419.913.8088

WASHINGTON — After a panel of judges ruled that President Trump’s memorandum attempting to exclude undocumented immigrants from census numbers used for  congressional apportionment was unlawful, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement:

“Trump has tried to sabotage the census from the beginning, leaving states with inaccurate numbers that will deprive communities of federal assistance to recover from the pandemic. The court has blocked this attempt to cut people and communities out of the once-in-a-decade count,  but we still need Congress to do its job and stop the administration from rushing the census. The Census Bureau needs more time to finish and process a complete count. And organizers need time to reach immigrants and other communities this administration has tried to scare away from the census.”


Without quick congressional action, the Census Bureau faces an impossible deadline of December 31, 2020 to count, review, process, tabulate, and report 2020 Census apportionment and redistricting data. In a bid to control how congressional apportionment is calculated, the Trump administration has abandoned its original request that Congress grant the bureau a reporting extension and is forcing the Census Bureau to cut the census short by one month. 

Forcing the  Census Bureau to rush the census in the middle of a pandemic is part of an intentional plot to sabotage the census to reflect a less diverse and inaccurate portrait of America. A rushed census shortchanges critical operations that count people of color, American Indians, low-income people, and people experiencing homelessness. This would skew congressional representation, redistricting, and critical funding for every state in the country.   

Congress must act before it’s too late. The House-passed HEROES Act already moved to extend these deadlines to protect the census and our democracy, and now the Senate must act. The next COVID-19 bill needs to protect the census and our democracy by giving the Census Bureau the time and flexibility it needs to complete the 2020 Census.