Trump’s nonsense approach on immigration is making census takers' lives a lot more difficult—and their job a lot more expensive. How’s that for a bad deal? As a result of the divisive (re: racist) climate Trump has created, census staff and civil rights groups believe that millions of foreign-born residents will be reluctant to participate in the 2020 count, if not hide from it all together.
To make matters worse, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has demanded to include citizenship status in the survey for the first time. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to make his decision on Sessions' demand by March 31. As per the Constitution, a count is required every 10 years. The numbers, which could be way, way off if foreign-born residents don’t participate, determine how over $600 billion in federal aid is doled out and how many seats in the House each state gets. In New York City, a whopping 40-percent of residents are foreign-born, just to give you a tangible idea of how badly Trump’s B.S. could screw things up.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Census is already going to cost the government $3.3 billion more than was projected in 2014. Spending constraints and budgeting disputes have also forced census takers to revert back to pencil-and-paper collection methods, instead of conducting the count digitally. And even though federal law mandates that no information gathered in the count be shared with law enforcement or any taxing authority, it's of little consolation when you consider this administration’s loose relationship with the law and constitutional rights.