I have been involved with the Census since 1960, first as an enlisted volunteer and then as a leader. I have always believed that the Census was the most apolitical operation undertaken by a federal agency. This is the first time I have seen it totally politicized, subverted, and manipulated by a US president.
Trump has tried to exclude people of color, especially immigrants, in every way possible. The Supreme Court told him to “count all persons”, as ordered in the Constitution. The Census Bureau has worked hard to carry out that sacred mandate and “count all persons.” A complete and accurate Census is vital to American interests because, for the entire decade, the results will be the sole basis upon which the allocation of federal funds and political power will be determined.
On July 21st, Trump issued a Policy Memoranda to remove undocumented immigrants from the “count” for redistricting purposes. The memo is a blatant violation of the Constitution. He is determined to make sure that immigrants have no voice in our representative government.
The 14th amendment is very clear. All “persons” are to be counted in the Census for the apportionment without exception. The Constitution cannot be amended by a memo. A proposed amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the US House and Senate, and by three-fourths of the states.
To make sure the 2020 Census count is incomplete and inaccurate, Trump ordered the Census Bureau to wrap up the Census by September 30, instead of October 30. Due to the pandemic, the Census Bureau had planned to give their enumerators 90 days effective August 1, to visit the tens of millions of households that have not yet responded to the Census. Instead, of enumerators will have 30 fewer days to conclude their work, regardless of how many people are not counted. The homestretch started yesterday, September 1.
The law requires the Census Bureau to submit its “count” to the President by December 31, which gives the Census Bureau only three months to conclude its work. If Trump loses the election, he will have only 20 days in January to “cook the numbers” and inflict irreparable damage to our cities and states, and all people of color.
NALEO issued a statement denouncing these actions saying, “As the second-largest population group in America, a fair and complete count of the nation’s Latinos is necessary for a successful census. The Administration and Congress must understand that an undercount of Latinos would mean a failed census – a disaster laid at the feet of this President and Administration.”
Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr.
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.