Democratic lawmakers join call for Census director to resign

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A group of Democratic lawmakers join civil rights groups to call for the resignation of US Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham after a watchdog agency said it set a deadline for statisticians lobbied for a report on the number of people in the United States illegally.

Dillingham on Wednesday ordered an indefinite halt to efforts to produce data showing the citizenship status of every U.S. resident across administrative records after being faced with backlash from civil rights groups and concerns raised by statisticians in the United States. whistleblowers as to the accuracy of these figures.

An Office of the Inspector General report on Wednesday said office workers were under significant pressure from two people appointed by Trump to determine who is in the United States by illegally using federal and state administrative records , and Dillingham had set a deadline for the bureau’s statisticians on Friday. him a technical report on the effort.

Two years ago, President Donald Trump ordered the Census Bureau to use administrative records to determine who is illegally in the country after the Supreme Court blocked his administration’s efforts to ask a citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire. In a separate order last year, Trump asked the Census Bureau, as part of the 2020 tally of every US resident, to provide data that would allow his administration to illegally exclude the people in the United States from the figures used to allocate congressional seats among the states.

An influential GOP adviser had advocated excluding them from the allocation process in order to favor Republicans and non-Hispanic whites, even though the Constitution says that every person in every state is to be counted. Trump’s unprecedented split order has been challenged in more than half a dozen lawsuits in the United States, but the Supreme Court ruled last month that any challenge was premature.

After the Inspector General’s report was released, leaders of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Latin American Representatives, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Leaders’ Conference on Civil and Human Rights called for the resignation of Dillingham.

Democratic congressional lawmakers have followed suit in the past two days, saying Dillingham allowed the Trump administration to politicize the 2020 census.

“The Trump administration has waged a damaging campaign against the census in an attempt to manipulate the results to be politically advantageous for the president and the Republican Party,” US Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said in a statement. “The failure of Census Director Steven Dillingham to put the country above his loyalty to the President allowed these transgressions to occur and he should therefore resign.

U.S. Representative Judy Chu, from California, said in a statement that communities of color had suffered the brunt of the census attacks.

“Officials like Steven Dillingham who cannot put the needs of the nation above the demands of a twice impeached president should step down,” said Chu, who chairs the US Congress Asia-Pacific caucus.

U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia said in a statement that Dillingham “has now demonstrated that he is ready to lead Mr. Trump’s xenophobic campaign to manipulate the census despite Congress’ clear constitutional mandate to count all people .

The Census Bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.

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