The Census Bureau’s director put an indefinite stop to an effort to gather data on U.S. residents’ citizenship status Wednesday, interrupting Trump’s plans to use the information when drawing House districts, The Associated Press reports.
Trump had reportedly been pushing the Census Bureau to finalize a document that would fulfill Executive Order 13880, which would exclude undocumented residents from the count that determines how many seats each state gets in Congress for the next decade.
The president has argued that certain states are reaping the benefit of a large undocumented population boosting the number of seats they are apportioned. California, for example, has about 2.2 million undocumented residents. If Trump’s push were to be successful, the state could lose two to three seats in the House.
Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham sent out a memo to bureau employees telling them to ” ‘stand down’ and discontinue their data reviews.” He noted that problems with the data would require more work, according to the AP.
Bureau statisticians were originally given until Friday to complete the report, according to the AP, with many expressing concern over time constraints.
John Coghlan, an attorney in the Trump administration, said Monday that the census count will be delayed. Due to data irregularities, the count will likely not be completed until after President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenGrowing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment House passes measure calling on Pence to remove Trump Disney, Walmart say they will block donations to lawmakers who objected to Electoral College results MORE takes office, he added.