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Undated: United States Census 2020
Undated: 2020 Decennial Census ... This information appears as published in the 2017 High Risk Report.
One of the most important functions of the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) is conducting the decennial census of the U.S. population, which is mandated by the Constitution and provides vital data for the nation. This information is used to apportion the seats of the U.S. House of Representatives; realign the boundaries of the legislative districts of each state; allocate billions of dollars in federal financial assistance; and provide social, demographic, and economic profiles of the nation's people to guide policy decisions at each level of government.
Undated: 2020 United States Census
-- 2016 --
February 24: For 2020, Census Bureau plans to trade paper responses for digital ones
The 2020 census could be the first in which most Americans are counted over the internet. In fact, if all goes as planned, the Census Bureau won’t even send paper questionnaires to most households.
The bureau’s goal is that 55% of the U.S. population will respond online using computers, mobile phones or other devices. It will mark the first time (apart from a small share of households in 2000) that any Americans will file their own census responses online. This shift toward online response is one of a number of technological innovations planned for the 2020 census, according to the agency’s recently released operational plan. The plan reflects the results of testing so far, but it could be changed based on future research, congressional reaction or other developments.
-- 2017 --
Undated: High Risk Series (including 2020 Decennial Census report)
April 9: Says one expert: ‘We could be heading for a train wreck.’
The first day of this month marked three years until Census Day: April 1, 2020. Though it may sound like one of the driest bureaucratic responsibilities of the federal government, the census has crucial implications for national politics—and requires years of planning, hundreds of thousands of new employees and even a marketing campaign to ensure the broadest possible snapshot of the American population.
Already, Congress’ inability to agree on a full-year funding measure for fiscal 2017 has forced the Census Bureau to cancel multiple field tests and delay opening three field offices. It also had to cut back on new, less labor-intensive methods for verifying household addresses, a critical undertaking that was supposed to make the 2020 census more cost-effective and accurate.
And more broadly, the Trump administration’s hard-line rhetoric and executive orders cracking down on undocumented immigrants may already be creating a major new risk for the census, making members of minority and immigrant communities less likely to respond.
July 17: The results of the U.S. census are far more important than most Americans realize. Census data are the starting point for redistricting and reapportionment – adding and removing House districts from states as population changes dictate – not to mention the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding. Housing assistance, highway maintenance and Medicare/Medicaid are just three examples of programs that distribute federal dollars to states in the form of grants based on census results. Undercounting populations guarantees that over the next decade, states will be strapped for funding in these areas.
And that is likely to happen if Republicans in Congress get their way. Under cover of the non-stop Trump circus, they are quietly working behind the scenes to ensure that the 2020 census fails – and fails to their advantage.
October 8: The census has never asked respondents their immigration status. Under Trump in 2020, could it?
The 2020 Census could mark the first time the survey asks whether a respondent is in this country legally or not. But could that produce negative effects even for citizens?
“[The Constitution] requires a count of all ‘persons residing in the United States, not just citizens or legal residents,” Andrew Reamer and Audrey Singer wrote for the Brookings Institution. “The framers intended the census to be an inclusive count and so avoided the term ‘citizen’ used elsewhere throughout the Constitution.”
That in turn could produce second-order effects, such as decreased congressional representation in states with higher numbers of undocumented immigrants — even though the Constitution requires that non-citizen residents count toward congressional apportionment. That’s mostly blue states such as California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, although it includes swing states like Florida and even red states like Texas.
-- 2018 --
February 1: 2020 Census Will Ask White People More About Their Ethnicities
The Census Bureau has not responded to NPR's questions about why this change is being made to the "White" category for 2020. A similar write-in area will be added under the "Black and African American" category.
The bureau has conducted extensive research into how to collect more accurate data about race and ethnicity in 2020. The data play a critical role in drawing legislative districts, enforcing civil rights laws and analyzing health statistics.
Researchers at the bureau have recommended adding check boxes for the largest ethnic groups and a write-in area for smaller groups under the racial categories in a proposal that would radically overhaul the race and ethnicity questions on the census.
February 20: How the Trump administration’s scheme to rig the census threatens American democracy
In his first year in office, Donald Trump and his administration have launched a daunting number of direct and open attacks on long-respected American rights and freedoms—threatening immigrants, the media, health care, transgender rights in the military, and much else. But there have been other, indirect and behind-the-scenes attacks, too, which may be no less damaging to the United States in the long term.
Perhaps the most critical of these is aimed at the census. Under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, “the whole number of persons in each State” must be counted “every … ten years.”
March 13: For the 2020 census, the U.S. Census Bureau is changing how it will ask black people to designate their race.
The change means many black people in the U.S. may have to take a closer look at their family trees to answer what can be a thorny question: Where are you really from? While many black immigrants can cite ties to a specific country, that question is difficult, if not impossible, for many U.S.-born African-Americans to answer.
The bureau has not responded to NPR's questions about why it is making this change to both the "Black" category and the "White" category," which will also include a new write-in area for origins.
But researchers at the bureau have said they have been trying to respond to requests for "more detailed, disaggregated data for our diverse American experiences as German, Mexican, Korean, Jamaican, and myriad other identities." (The bureau was considering an overhaul to all racial categories that would have added check boxes for the largest ethnic groups and a write-in area for smaller groups. But it would require the Trump administration's approval of an Obama-era proposal to change the federal standards on race and ethnicity data ...)
March 18: A Million Children Didn’t Show Up In The 2010 Census. How Many Will Be Missing In 2020?
In today’s Washington, even the Census Bureau is a source of drama. The department has no director. Due to funding constraints, it has abandoned pre-census research in West Virginia and Washington state that was meant to check the integrity of parts of its survey process. It is weighing whether to add a question about citizenship to the decennial census; community groups around the country have spent months imploring Congress and the Census Bureau not to do so. They’re afraid that adding the question would lower response rates and make the survey less reliable.
At stake: nearly $700 billion in federal money and how we decide to apportion congressional representation.
March 19: Trump [re-election] campaign: Do you want the next Census to include citizenship question?
The campaign sent the survey out to its list of supporters Monday.
The request has proven controversial. While supporters say the question is a modest change, its opponents argue that the question could be counterproductive to getting accurate counts. The Census counts the total number of people in the country, not the total number of citizens.
March 27: Democrats vow to fight Trump administration over census citizenship question
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the addition of such a question a "direct attack on our representative democracy."
July 3: Judge allows lawsuit against citizenship question on Census to go forward, NY AG says
The lawsuit was brought by a coalition of states' attorneys general and cities challenging the Trump administration's decision in March to add a question about citizenship to the next Census. A question about citizenship has not appeared on the Census since the 1950s.
Critics say the question will penalize immigrants and threaten civil rights.
July 26: Citing Trump Attacks on Immigrants, Judge Allows Suit Over Census Question
September 17: The Justice Department, which the Trump administration says needs the controversial citizenship question added to the 2020 census, initially did not want to make the request, according to newly unredacted portions of a memo.
Plaintiffs in the six lawsuits around the country argue that including a citizenship question risks harming the accuracy of the upcoming head count. Census Bureau research suggests heightened sensitivity towards such a question will discourage households with noncitizens from participating and lead to an undercount — one that could shift power and funding away from states with high populations of noncitizens, including immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally.
October 5: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday rejected a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to temporarily block an order requiring Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and another official to sit for a deposition in lawsuits challenging their decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The DOJ has also asked the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to quash Ross’s deposition. Ginsburg is letting that request, which is scheduled to be reviewed on Oct. 9, play out first.
November 16: The Supreme Court agreed Friday to take up an aspect of the legal battle over the Trump administration's plan to put a question about citizenship on the 2020 census form.
Eighteen states, several of the nation's largest cities and immigrant rights groups brought the lawsuit. They said adding the question would making immigrants reluctant to respond to census takers, resulting in an undercount of that segment of the population.
A federal district court judge in New York, Jesse Furman, is now holding a trial to decide if the citizenship question can be included on the form.
November 21: An appeals court on Wednesday denied the Trump administration’s emergency request to delay a trial underway over a controversial citizenship question the government wants to add to the 2020 census.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said it was denying the request for similar reasons to those laid out by a federal judge the day before.
The trial, which began November 5, is one of several challenging the government’s March decision to add the question. Administration officials said it was necessary to enforce the Voters Rights Act. But opponents see it as a partisan move that will depress response rates in Democrat-majority jurisdictions with a high portion of immigrants, who they say will be scared to complete the survey.
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