Census Bureau to miss deadline, jeopardizing Trump's order to exclude illegal immigrants from count

The Supreme Court earlier this month allowed Trump's plan to move forward.

Updated: December 31, 2020 - 8:19am

The Census Bureau will miss its year-end deadline for submitting the U.S. population count that determines the number of congressional seats apportioned to states, jeopardizing President Trump’s efforts before leaving office to exclude illegal immigrants from the count. 

The missed deadline marks the first time that the Dec. 31 target date has not been met since Congress implemented it more than four decades ago, according to the Associated Press.

Trump’s appointment in July to exclude illegal immigrants from the count was challenged in more than a half dozen lawsuits across the country. However, the Supreme Court ruled earlier this month to allow the plan to move forward.

The president is set to leave office Jan. 20 unless the final vote count and certification from the November election is delayed or overturned.

The Census Bureau plans to deliver a population count of each state in early 2021, as close to the missed deadline as possible, the agency said late Wednesday. 

The federal agency said the delay is the result of inaccurate data that continues to be detected and corrected.

"The schedule for reporting this data is not static," the agency also said in a statement. "Projected dates are fluid."

Documents obtained earlier this month by the House Oversight committee show the agency doesn’t expect the numbers to be ready until days after Biden’s inauguration.

Biden could rescind Trump’s presidential memorandum directing the agency to exclude people in the country illegally. from numbers used for divvying up congressional seats among the states. 

The Commerce Department must present the president by year’s end with population figures from the 2020 census. The president then is required to submit the numbers to Congress in early January. The Commerce Department oversees the Census Bureau, which conducts the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident. However, there are no penalties for missing the deadline, the wire service also reports.

Just the News Spotlight