SEARAC Applauds Introduction of Census Deadline Extensions Act

For immediate release
September 15, 2020

Media contact:
Elaine Sanchez Wilson
(202) 601-2970

Washington, DC – Today, Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act, a bipartisan bill that would extend the deadlines for both the 2020 Census and subsequent apportionment.

Despite the profound impact of COVID-19 on census operations, the Trump Administration has shortened the timeline for census household counting by a month. The new end date of Sept. 30 is contrary to the recommendations of senior Census Bureau staff, who have suggested data collection through Oct. 31 followed by a six-month quality check.

If passed, the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act would require the US Census Bureau to return to the original Oct. 31 deadline for completing the 2020 Census count. Given that 23% of Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs) live in hard-to-count communities, the additional month would allow census enumerators to survey these community members, along with other hard-to-count communities, more accurately and therefore direct the appropriate amount of funding to public services in their locales. Furthermore, hard-to-count communities are at risk of reduced political power with an undercount, as the census also determines the process of apportionment, which divides the 435 seats in the US House of Representatives among the 50 states.

“We applaud Sens. Schatz, Murkowski, and Sullivan for introducing this important bipartisan bill. Given the continuous efforts of the Trump Administration to prevent a full census count, such as its failed attempts to include a citizenship question and to exclude undocumented immigrants, many SEAA families may not be included in the census,” said Katrina Dizon Mariategue, Acting Executive Director of SEARAC. “The census helps guide federal funding of approximately $1.5 trillion dollars. Without an accurate count, our communities could be appropriated fewer resources than we require. We urge the Senate to pass this bill. SEARAC will continue working with our partners and Congress to move this legislation forward and fight for an accurate count of our communities.”
ACTION ALERT: Take a few minutes to call or email your senator NOW
1. Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Senate member. You can also click here to find the direct lines to your senator.
2. Find your senator’s email here.
3. Find sample language below:
Hi, my name is _______, and I am your constituent from (City, State). I am calling/writing to ask you to support the 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act, introduced by Sens. Schatz, Murkowski, and Sullivan, so that the Census Bureau has the time it needs to count everyone in our state. A rushed census results in an inaccurate representation of the country for the next 10 years. We must provide adequate time for the Census Bureau to conduct a full and accurate count of our communities in (State). Thank you.