The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Census numbers coming in late

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/31/20, 02:14 pm

The Census Bureau may not submit a final count of the U.S. population until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office, according to internal documents. The department is set to miss the Dec. 31 deadline for the first time since Congress instituted it 40 years ago, announcing late Wednesday that it plans to submit the data as early in 2021 as possible. There is no penalty for missing the deadline.

What does that mean? The numbers are used to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives. President Donald Trump issued an order that would exclude people in the country illegally from counting in that process. If Biden takes office before the data comes in, he could rescind that order before reapportionment happens. Several lawsuits sought to block Trump’s order, but the Supreme Court ruled that the challenge was premature, allowing the plan to move forward. Since the justices blocked the Census Bureau from including a question about immigration status on the survey, it’s unclear how the department would determine who is in the country illegally.

Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Stew on the Supreme Court’s recent decision about illegal immigration census data.

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

Read more from this writer