Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Questions patrons may have about the 2010 Census

Q. My census form has the wrong city on it. Should I send it in?

A. Yes. ""Don't worry," Dr. Groves wrote in The Director's Blog on March 17, noting that the mailing address and physical location of a house were different for census purposes. People will be counted "in the jurisdiction where your home is physically located," the director said. Addresses in a single ZIP code were labeled using a single city name to streamline delivery for the "largest single [mailing] ever undertaken by the United States," Dr. Groves noted.

The Postal Service uses multiple city names to deliver mail when a ZIP code crosses jurisdictional boundaries, he said. Each census form has a unique bar code that is used to check-in forms as they are returned by mail; the bar code is tied to a mailing address that includes the city or town associated with the physical location of the home. The director urged people not to cross off the address or bar code on their questionnaire."

Q. Will participating in the 2010 Census potentially get me in trouble with the immigration authorities?

A. No. "Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told lawmakers that the department is "committed to working with the Census Bureau to ensure our enforcement responsibilities do not interfere" with "a thorough and accurate" census.

In a March 16 letter to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Secretary assured legislators that personal census responses "will not be shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and may not be used for immigration enforcement purposes." The Census Act (13 U.S.C. §§8 & 9) prohibits the Census Bureau from revealing any personally identifiable information collected in the census and provides that personal census responses may not be used against an individual, are immune from legal process, and may not be admitted as evidence (without an individual's consent) in any judicial or administrative proceeding.

The letter followed a meeting between Hispanic lawmakers and President Obama; at that March 11 meeting, the lawmakers expressed concern that continued immigration raids would discourage immigrants from participating in the census. Secretary Napolitano reiterated that neither the Commerce Department nor the Census Bureau would ask ICE to suspend immigration enforcement during the census. She acknowledged for the first time, however, that the two executive branch departments were working together to ensure that immigration-related activities "do not affect [the Census Bureau's] ability to collect accurate and comprehensive data for the census.""

from The Census Project, Census News Brief 3/21/10

Government Documents Coordinator.

No comments: