A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday afternoon rejected the Trump administration’s appeal for a stay of a lower court’s order that the headcount for the 2020 Census continues through October 31, while allowing the Census Bureau to continue to try to meet a December 31, 2020, statutory reporting deadline. 

The Trump administration had previously signaled that it would next ask the Supreme Court for a stay.

“Today’s ruling marks the third time in as many weeks that advocates defeated the Trump administration’s single-minded drive to end the 2020 Census early,” Meeta Anand, the Census 2020 Senior Fellow for the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), an immigration advocacy group, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). “Of course, this White House refuses to back down and is now looking to the Supreme Court to allow them to cut the Census count short. 

“To beat back this White House, Congress must move to extend both statutory reporting deadlines so that the Census Bureau does not shortchange quality controls and to ensure the most accurate data possible for redistricting,” she added. 

“Here in New York, we must match the Trump administration’s persistence with the determination to use every precious minute, hour, day, and week to ensure all New Yorkers—regardless of legal status, age, or country of origin—are counted,” Anand urged. 

She said that at stake are trillions of US federal dollars and political representation for millions of Americans, including Caribbean Americans, “and particularly our most vulnerable communities.”

“New Yorkers will need these resources and political power to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild an economy reflective of our vibrant and diverse communities,” Anand said. 

In what was being described as a massive victory for the Caribbean and other immigrants, a United States federal court late last month ordered the Trump administration to abandon last-minute changes to the 2020 Census schedule and extend the time for counting for an additional month.

The preliminary injunction, issued by US District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California, requires the Census Bureau to keep trying to tally the country’s residents through October 31.

By law, the US government is constitutionally required to count the number of people living in the United States every 10 years.

But the Trump administration is asking the US Supreme Court to permit counting for the 2020 census to end soon. 

In an emergency request on Wednesday, Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said that the Census Bureau must immediately conclude its field operations, now that it’s passed the bureau’s internal target date of October 5, to have an opportunity of meeting the legal deadline for delivering the first set of census results to President Trump by year’s end.

“With Oct. 5 having come and gone while the court of appeals was considering the stay application, every passing day exacerbates the serious risk that the district court’s order to continue field operations and delay post-processing will make it impossible for the Bureau to comply with the December 31 statutory reporting deadline,” Wall wrote. 

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