My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Bob Barr claims Census workers can enter your home when you’re not around.

This appears to be idiotic, plain and simple. Yet this Bob Barr fellow who is a former Congressman and now writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution seems to believe what he’s writing, and he’s got a lot of comments in his comments section. However, it doesn’t make sense that someone looking to enumerate would want to visit an EMPTY household:

Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

6:00 am May 26, 2010, by Bob Barr

Thousands of census workers, including many temporary employees, are fanning out across America to gather information on the citizenry.  This is a process that takes place not only every decade in order to complete the constitutionally-mandated census; but also as part of the continuing “American Community Survey” conducted by the Census Bureau on a regular basis year in and year out.

What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for “the collection of statistics.”  If the landlord of such apartment or other  leased premises refuses to grant the government worker access to your living quarters, whether you are present or not, the landlord can be fined $500.00.

That’s right — not only can citizens be fined if they fail to answer the increasingly intrusive questions asked of them by the federal government under the guise of simply counting the number of people in the country; but a landlord must give them access to your apartment whether you’re there or not, in order to gather whatever “statistics” the law permits.

In fact, some census workers apparently are going even further and demanding — and receiving — private cell phone numbers from landlords in order to call tenants and obtain information from them.  Isn’t it great to live in a “free” country?

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12 Responses to “Bob Barr claims Census workers can enter your home when you’re not around.”

  1. Crew Leader Says:

    Having access TO a Housing unit does NOT mean having access INTO a housing unit.

    Bob Barr is a provocateer & a moron.

  2. NarfooSnafoo Says:

    What a moran. We are instructed NOT to do that…we are not LEOs, FFS! This guy is an embarrassment to us Libertarians.

  3. To Infinity and Beyond Says:

    I agree with both responses before mine. However, I believe there are a few census workers (and fraudulent) who would behave in this manner.

  4. CLA Dave Says:

    Bob Barr is an idiot. We were told it is forbidden to even look in windows.

  5. In some LCO Says:

    Bob Barr is a fool.

    The issue comes up with large apartment buildings with locked or guarded central access. When a concierge or a doorman will not allow a credentialed enumerator in, he/she is breaking the law. We have had many such cases. Most resolve with a managerial call to the concierge or their controlling management company.

    A few management companies have had to have the fine amount read out to them, but tha tis rare.

  6. nonny mooses Says:

    He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. We were instructed to NEVER, not even in the rain nor even if invited, enter a home. Common areas of apartment buildings or driveways, sure. But going inside someone’s home is a liability and a safety issue for both enumerators and respondents.

  7. mandy_Reeves Says:

    Yeah I got a ton of folks inviting me in

  8. Chicken Little Says:

    I have gone into a small number of homes: elderly with walkers, stay-at-home parents holding babies, individuals in apt. with shared hallways who did not want others to hear their personal info., etc. I stood near the doorway – all were very decent, kind-hearted. They also said the same of me.

  9. ET Says:

    http://www.factcheck.org/2010/05/more-census-nonsense/

  10. California FOS Says:

    Chicken Little, be careful. One of my enumerators entered the home of what she thought was a “decent, kind-hearted” individual until he locked the door behind her and proceeded to attempt to sexually assault her. I tell my enumerators not to go inside homes unless it’s someone they already know from their life outside the Census. (Since they are enumerating their own neighborhoods, they run across quite a few of their own friends, relatives and neighbors in the course of their duties.)

  11. anonymous Says:

    California FOS, thank you for reminding everyone!

  12. pissed off at CW Says:

    What say you to a Census worker entering property with dogs that they have a)previously visited, questions anwered but not all, just the ones required by the consitution; b) were told not to come back and especially not to enter the yard because of the dogs present (CW personally saw the type of dogs & knew of their presence); c)told homeowner they could come back as many times as they wanted and could enter the property at any time they wanted irregardless of what the homeowner requested.
    If the CW have this unlimited power, do they not have to assume the risks involved with it?