Ong on Fallout From a Flawed Census

Paul Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA Luskin, spoke to KCRW’s Press Play about flaws in the 2020 Census, which has been cut short by two weeks. Ong said that, 10 years ago, about 5% of households responding to the census provided inaccurate information. “I suspect it’s going to be much worse this time around given the pandemic and given the politicization of the whole process,” he said. Ong also responded to the Trump administration’s efforts to subtract undocumented immigrants from census totals. The policy would deepen the political alienation of a broad group of people, including people of color, low-income populations and immigrants who are in the country legally but who are not yet citizens, Ong said. It would also drain political and economic resources from disadvantaged neighborhoods, with “long-term implications for who gets what and who’s left out.”


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