sunny.png
Wednesday February 24th, 2021 12:30PM

Census halts efforts to comply with Trump citizenship order

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The director of the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday indefinitely halted efforts to comply with President Donald Trump's order demanding data on who is in the country illegally after receiving blowback from civil rights groups and concerns raised by bureau statisticians about the accuracy of such figures.

Bureau workers laboring to comply with the presidential order were instructed to “'stand down' and discontinue their data reviews," Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said in a memo.

Dillingham's memo came after the Office of Inspector General reported Tuesday that bureau workers were under significant pressure from two Trump political appointees, Nathaniel Cogley and Benjamin Overholt, to figure out who is in the U.S illegally using federal and state administrative records. Dillingham had set a Friday deadline for bureau statisticians to provide him a technical report on the effort, the inspector general's memo said.

After the release of the inspector general's memo, a coalition of civil rights groups called for Dillingham's resignation, saying he was undermining the statistical agency's standards for data quality to comply with Trump's order, which was “motivated by partisan objectives."

“We do not lightly come to the conclusion that he should resign,” leaders of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said in a statement. “Dillingham’s order to divert precious staff time away from producing the apportionment count and into producing data on citizens and noncitizens for political, partisan purposes is a betrayal of the mission of the Bureau."

Census Bureau directors have five-year terms and Dillingham's tenure does not end until the end of the year.

The appointments of Cogley and Overholt last year were highly criticized by statisticians, academics and Democratic lawmakers, who worried they would politicize the once-a-decade census.

Trump two years ago ordered the Census Bureau to use administrative records to figure out who is in the country illegally after the Supreme Court blocked his administration’s effort to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire. The statistical agency has not publicly said what method it’s utilizing to do that.

Information about the citizenship status of every U.S. resident could be used to implement another Trump order seeking to exclude people in the country illegally from the count used for divvying up congressional seats and Electoral College votes, as well as the annual distribution of $1.5 trillion in federal spending, among the states.

An influential GOP adviser had advocated excluding them from the apportionment process in order to favor Republicans and non-Hispanic whites. Trump’s unprecedented order on apportionment was challenged in more than a half-dozen lawsuits around the U.S., but the Supreme Court ruled last month that any challenge was premature.

The ability to implement Trump’s apportionment order is in jeopardy since the processing of the data is not scheduled to be done until early March, many weeks after Trump leaves office and President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in Jan. 20. Biden has said he opposes the effort.

The whistleblowers told the Office of Inspector General that the Census Bureau has not set rules for categorizing the citizenship status of U.S. residents. Bureau statisticians also do not fully understand the data since portions came from outside the bureau and they are worried incomplete data could be misinterpreted, they said.

“One senior Bureau employee went as far to say that this work is statistically indefensible," the Inspector General's memo said.

Robert Santos, the president of the American Statistical Association, on Wednesday praised the whistleblowers for coming forward with their concerns.

“If such data must be generated, they should be of the highest quality," Santos said. “Forcing the Census Bureau to generate faulty data for the sake of an arbitrary deadline goes against the Bureau’s commitment to scientific integrity and would do immeasurable harm to its reputation as a world class statistical operation."

___

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Supreme Court News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Census halts efforts to comply with Trump citizenship order
The director of the U.S. Census Bureau is indefinitely halting efforts to compile data on who is in the country illegally after receiving blowback from civil rights groups and concerns raised by bureau statisticians about the accuracy of such figures
5:46PM ( 8 minutes ago )
YouTube suspends Trump’s channel for at least a week
YouTube suspended U.S. President Donald Trump’s channel for at least a week amid concerns around “ongoing potential for violence,” making it the latest platform to limit the president’s online activities
5:35PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Trump impeached after Capitol riot in historic second charge
President Donald Trump has been impeached by the U.S. House over the violent siege of the Capitol
5:31PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Northwest storm kills 1, causes landslide and power outages
A powerful wind storm has rolled through the Pacific Northwest, killing one person and leaving a trail of damage
5:08PM ( 45 minutes ago )
AP source: James Harden traded to Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to acquire three-time scoring champion James Harden from the Houston Rockets, a deal that reunites him with Kevin Durant and gives him the move that he has sought for weeks, said a person familiar with the situation
4:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Flint families welcome water crisis charges, seek healing
Some Flint residents impacted by months of lead-tainted water are looking past expected charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder and others in his administration to healing physical and emotional damages left by the crisis
4:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
California opens scarce vaccines to those 65 and older
California is immediately allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce coronavirus vaccines
4:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
US budget deficit up 60.7% in first 3 months of budget year
The U.S. government’s deficit in the first three months of the budget year was a record-breaking $572.9 billion
4:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump on verge of 2nd impeachment; voting underway
President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and then a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol
4:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
Airbnb to block, cancel DC bookings ahead of inauguration
Airbnb says it will be blocking and cancelling all reservations in the Washington, D
5:04PM ( 50 minutes ago )
The Latest: 10 GOP House members voted to impeach Trump
Ten Republican House members voted to impeach President Donald Trump over the deadly insurrection at the Capitol
5:02PM ( 51 minutes ago )
FBI, Justice Department leaders stay out of sight after riot
A law enforcement press conference this week on the U.S. Capitol riot was notable for who was not there
4:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
No. 3 House GOP leader backs Trump impeachment as tide grows
Congressional Republican opposition to impeaching President Donald Trump is starting to crumble at the party's highest echelons
11:47PM ( 18 hours ago )
The Latest: House urges Pence to remove Trump from power
The House has voted to urge Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and hold a Cabinet vote to remove President Donald Trump from office
11:28PM ( 18 hours ago )
The Latest: Michigan GOP Rep. Upton backs Trump impeachment
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton has become the fourth Republican to back the impeachment of President Donald Trump
10:53PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
YouTube suspends Trump’s channel for at least a week
YouTube suspended U.S. President Donald Trump’s channel for at least a week amid concerns around “ongoing potential for violence,” making it the latest platform to limit the president’s online activities
5:35PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Trump impeached after Capitol riot in historic second charge
President Donald Trump has been impeached by the U.S. House over the violent siege of the Capitol
5:31PM ( 22 minutes ago )
McConnell blocks quick Trump trial, unsure how he'll vote
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blocking a quick Senate trial of Donald Trump
5:30PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Calls to reopen classrooms grow as teachers get vaccinated
State leaders around the U.S. are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine against the raging pandemic
5:29PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Olympian Keller charged with taking part in US Capitol riot
Five-time Olympic swimming medalist Klete Keller has been charged with participating in a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the building
5:21PM ( 33 minutes ago )