NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The deadline to fill out the U.S. Census has been abruptly cut short, sending New York City census workers scrambling.
Originally Americans had until the end of October, but a new Supreme Court decision cuts off the count by Friday morning.
New York City census workers are ramping up visits to hospitals, houses of worship and neighborhoods across the city to get residents counted, CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.
The deadline had been extended to Oct. 31 due to the pandemic, but Tuesday, it was bumped up to Oct. 15 after the Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration.
It argued field work needs to stop so the legal deadline of reporting the results to the president by Dec. 31 can be met.
WEB EXTRA: Click here to complete the 2020 census today
Residents have until Friday at 6 a.m. New York time to self-report online at My2020Census.gov, but the deadline is Thursday for other methods.
"If you are mailing your form, that has to be postmarked by tomorrow, so that needs to go into a mailbox or to the post office before collection time tomorrow. If you want to phone it in, pretty much you should phone before say about 10 p.m. tomorrow," said Meeta Anand, with the New York Immigration Coalition.
The process is usually non-partisan, but a presidential memo calls for it to exclude unauthorized immigrants. But organizers in New York City are reminding residents the count is confidential.
"This is literally about counting the number of people that are residing in the city of New York. We aren't talking about immigration issues and that is not on the table," said Nick Smith, with the office of New York City Public Advocate.
The numbers, collected once a decade, determine how many federal lawmakers an area has and billions of dollars in funding for things like schools, hospitals and senior programs.
The United Way says all communities in New York City are currently undercounted. The city has invested $40 million on outreach.
"Once we were able to go back out in field, we saw the Asian self-response rates go from below the citywide average to above the citywide average," said Howard Shih, director of research and policy for the Asian-American Federation.
So far 61.5% of New Yorkers have been counted, which is ahead of predictions, but still about five points behind the national average. The clock is ticking.
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