As the countdown continues for collecting the 2020 Census data, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has placed a hold on all current orders. In July 2020, the Trump Administration contradicted themselves by ordering all Census data collection to be finished by Sept. 30.
In April, Trump had publicly supported his administration’s request for Congress to extend the legal deadline by four months. This decision comes after numerous other “bad” decisions Trump and his administration has done throughout his term.
Hard Year to Collect Census Data
However, this decision really has people concerned. People in America — and its Territories — have certain rights. These rights have been outlined in Bill’s and the Constitution. Many people have been voicing their demands for these basic rights for years. Some of what has happened during this Presidental term has left many wondering is there truly justice for all?
That is something that is chanted at the end of -The Pledge of Allegiance.- “For Liberty and Justice for all!” Yet this does not seem to be the case in some instances. The point of gathering Census information every 10 years is for appropriate funding.
This is why every person — whether you live in a traditional home or not — needs to be counted. A common misconception is the “government” uses this information for deportation and such. This is far from the case. First off the Census Bureau is not allowed to share any of the irrelevant information, with any other government official.
The Census Bureau collects the data through questionnaires. They then tally up the information on said questionnaires. The total number of people in each area then gets shipped to the appropriate place.
Why Is Census Gathering so Important?
For example, say a town had 5,000 people reported living there 10 years ago. Now it is safe to assume in that 10 years there have been births and deaths. Not to mention people moving from place to place. It is also safe to assume that within that decade there have been commercial changes to the neighbor. New jobs, homes, and schools start to pop up everywhere.
This could mean that the town of 5,000 people could in fact have 5,989. Sending out questionaries through the mail is one way the Census could gather up this new data. Another way for them to gather this information is by walking door to door asking everyone they see.
The year 2020 has been an extremely difficult one by far to gather up the information needed for the Census. The COVID-19 pandemic put a slight hamper on the information gathering. Officials started up a website for the first time ever to assist in gathering the much-needed information.
This data is given so officials can assess how much funding is proper for a town. This funding assists with hospitals, health care offices, schools, and much more.
Petitions to Extend the Deadline
Many groups have petitioned to have the deadline extended. Judge Koh temporarily answered that call by directing the Census Bureau to pause its plans of wrapping up soon. The pause is only for a brief moment, for the decision expires on September 24.
A hearing to extend that decision until October 31 was scheduled to happen on Sept. 17. However, due to the Justice Department attorneys missing a deadline this hearing was canceled. The attorney was supposed to produce a complete record of internal Commerce Department documents.
The attorneys informed Koh that they did not feel they would be able to finish all the required documents before the week’s end. Koh has given them until Sept. 22 to get all the documents in. This is the day the judge has rescheduled the hearing. There is a similar lawsuit happening in Maryland.
Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been scrambling for a way to adjust the schedule the Census has. Many people hope proper data collection is performed. Although it seems it may not be for liberty and Census for all.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NPR: Court Order Keeps Census In Limbo As Counting End Date Looms; Hansi Lo Wang
WJXT News 4: Deadline to fill out US Census fast approaching; Lauren Vernon
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Inline Image Courtesy of PaulSh’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License