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Census Bureau makes last-minute push to tally non-citizens, watchdog says

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 62.9%. 1 min read.

Government officials balked when the Census Bureau set a last-minute deadline to assemble data on non-citizens as part of an apparent anti-immigration push by the Trump administration before leaving office, according to a new watchdog report.

(CNN)Government officials balked when the Census Bureau set a last-minute deadline to assemble data on non-citizens as part of an apparent anti-immigration push by the Trump administration before leaving office, according to a new watchdog report.

The Commerce Department's inspector general, overseeing the 2020 Census, revealed on Tuesday that Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham told employees that a non-citizen tally is "a number one priority" and is due to him this Friday.

The request is a surprise because Census officials have signaled the population numbers used to divide seats in Congress between the states will not be finalized until after Trump leaves office.

That means the numbers will include undocumented immigrants, because incoming President-elect Joe Biden has rejected Trump's push to exclude them.

The Supreme Court has blocked lawsuits challenging the Trump administration's plan to exclude non-citizens, but there is a long-simmering lawsuit in an Alabama federal courthouse arguing it is unjust to include non-citizens when apportioning political power in Congress and the Electoral College.

If the Trump administration compiles a non-citizen tally before leaving office, that lawsuit could find new life and challenge the Biden policy of including undocumented immigrants in the final count.

The IG memorandum asks Dillingham to explain his reasoning for compiling the data.

CNN has asked the Census Bureau for comment on the memo and its timeline for producing the population figures.

Dillingham, a Trump appointee, is scheduled to serve into the Biden administration.

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