Trump Might Not Get a Chance to Subtract Illegal Immigrants from the Census

President Trump smiles as he signs a plaque commemorating the construction of the 200th mile border wall in San Luis, Ariz. On June 23, 2020. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)

I have written several times about the Trump administration’s intention to remove illegal immigrants from the census before passing the data to Congress for distribution. If that happens, states with lots of illegal immigrants could lose seats in the House.

I doubt this is legal, and in argument before the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh seemed to share my skepticism. In addition, a lawyer for the administration told the court that the administration may not be able to identify illegal immigrants exhaustively and therefore may have to be content with removing certain subsets. , such as those who have been deported from the country or are in custody with immigration and customs. This decision may be easier to justify legally, although there may not be enough of these people to move seats in the House.

Another issue lurking in the background is that COVID-19 has delayed the data processing work the Census Bureau needs to do to complete its report – and it may not be done until Trump steps down. Politico reports on certain documents with new details:

The 2020 census distribution data, which determines how many House seats each state will secure for the next decade, may not be available until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, according to documents released by the committee. House surveillance.

The Democratic majority on the committee was vague on how it received the internal documents, saying only that it obtained them from an “other source” after the Trump administration refused to hand over various documents when the committee had them. requested. A die documents published by the committee, dated Nov. 27, indicates that the “scheduled delivery” for this final allocation tally is Jan. 23, just days after Biden’s inauguration and President Donald Trump’s departure. Public release of the data is also scheduled for that day. . . .

In a statement, the Census Bureau did not deny the authenticity of documents released by the committee, but said the timing was not yet certain.

The Nov. 27 document also states that data on the “unauthorized state population,” which Trump wants to subtract from the aggregate figures, is not expected until Feb. 3. However, in argument before the Supreme Court, the administration’s lawyer said: “at least some” of this data may be available sooner.