The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered that the once-a-decade national headcount end on Thursday.
The Trump administration had previously extended the deadline to complete the U.S. Census because of the spread of COVID-19, but reversed itself and tried shutting down the process on September 30. Civil rights groups opposed that move in court, claiming that ending the count before the end of October would lead to a major undercount, especially among Latinos, African Americans and other communities of color.
Census data will be used over the next decade to decide where to spend more than $1.5 trillion annually in federal funds, and to apportion seats equitably in Congress and the Electoral College. Past undercounts have led some local communities to lose out on millions in federal funding.
Critics of the Trump Administration worry the president may yet to exclude undocumented immigrants from the final census tally, despite a constitutional provision that all “persons” (not citizens) in the U.S. be counted.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the decision’s only dissenter, said that “meeting the deadline at the expense of the accuracy of the census is not a cost worth paying …”
In an interview with NBC Latino, Beth Lynk of the said, “We cannot afford a skewed or inaccurate portrait of our country because it threatens to erase the beautiful diversity within our country, particularly within the Latino community.”
The Census Bureau will continue to accept responses online at My2020Census.gov until 11:59 p.m Thursday night October 15, Hawaii time. Paper forms mailed to the Census Bureau must be postmarked no later than October 15.
Arizona ICE Facility With Record COVID-19 Cases
A privately operated immigration detention center in Arizona “has recorded the most COVID-19 cases among immigration detainees in the country,” according to a AZMirror.com report.
As of October 7, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials reported that the detention center, located in Eloy, about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, had recorded 400 “cumulative cases” of the potentially lethal coronavirus, the Mirror reported. Authorities say it’s the largest concentration of COVID-19 cases among immigrants being held in detention centers anywhere in the nation.
“ICE failed to test detainees. They have deported even immigrants that have tested positive for the virus,” Lizzy Price of Accountable.US told the Mirror. “I think it’s hard to get more specific here because we don’t know what they’re not telling us and so that’s a really big problem.”
67% of Latino Voters Back Biden
A weekly national survey finds that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has the support of 67 percent of Latino voters, while 24 percent say they will back the reelection of President Donald Trump.
The weekly poll is conducted by Latino Decisions for the NALEO Educational Fund.
Among the poll’s highlights:
- 75 percent of survey respondents say they are almost certain to vote this year.
- Nearly one-third of respondents said they do not trust that mail-in ballots will be correctly delivered back to county elections authorities
- About 1 in 4 respondents say they have had trouble meeting food, medicine and other basic household needs during. the pandemic
- Nearly 1 in 3 respondents said they know someone who has died of COVID-19. (A separate Axios/Ipsos poll released earlier this month found 18 percent or nearly 1 in 5 whites nationwide knew someone who died of the coronavirus.)
- 79 percent of survey respondents believe President Trump caught COVID-19 because he failed to take proper precautions and acted irresponsibly.
“With November 3 just around the corner and early voting underway, Latino voters are solidifying their opinions on who they trust on the issues they find most important,” said Arturo Vargas, CEO of the NALEO Educational Fund.
Voto Latino Registers More Than 500K Voters
The national grassroots group, Voto Latino, says it has registered about 560,000 voters in the current election cycle, including nearly 260,000 in Texas alone.
“Our results reflect the Latinx community’s deep desire to participate in this election,” María Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino, said in a statement issued by the organization earlier this week.
Since its founding in 2004, the group has registered more than 1 million voters, the overwhelming majority of whom are Latinx, spokeswoman Amber Micala Arnold said.
Voto Latino has also raised $35 million, more than double its original goal for the 2020 election cycle. Thanks to its fundraising success, the group says it’s poised to “mobilize upwards of 3.7 million new and low propensity Latinx voters” in six battleground states, including Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Nationwide, there are about 32 million eligible Latino voters, making it the second largest voting bloc in the country.
Subscribe free to the Vanguardia America newsletter here.