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.

Strange incident of the day: Local news crew captures homeowner’s confrontation with 2010 Census worker

This is from, an NBC affiliate in New Mexico:

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17 Responses to “Strange incident of the day: Local news crew captures homeowner’s confrontation with 2010 Census worker”

  1. OC_Enumerator Says:

    This should have never escalated to that point. The enumerator should have left the property the moment she refused and write her up as a RE for that visit. Instead of diffusing the situation, he used some intimidating language (e.g. “I have a federal right to be here”). This is not what we were trained to say.

    Of course, considering that REF EQs are being kicked back to the same enumerators, we’re only going to see more incidents like this one.

  2. anonymous Says:

    I’m glad this was videotaped. The Census worker was UNPROFESSIONAL. Oh, yes, we have many Enumerators, CL, CLA who behave like this Census worker.

  3. CLA Dave Says:

    Something about that video doesn’t seem right. Why was a news camera filming there in the first place? Why no footage of the cops showing up? I can’t help but wonder if that was a re-enactment, like they do on those “most wanted” shows.

  4. end the census Says:

    Where, exactly, in the Constitution, or in U.S. Code, or other established law, does it say that neighbors must under penalty of law comply with census workers’ demand that the neighbors divulge any proxy information?

  5. CLA Dave Says:

    end the census – I find nothing in any law which requires people to tell the census anything about a neighbor or anyone else.

  6. Pablo S. Says:

    CLA Dave…Good point. The clips of the enumerator certainly seem like a re-enactment.

  7. lagirl Says:

    Seems exactly like reality TV. Maybe not a bad idea: let the public vote. All you enumerators with stories of dogs chasing you and sexual harassment and doors slammed in your face … Stephen, the rest is up to you :)

  8. mandy_Reeves Says:

    I dunno about ending it…maybe revamp it somehow

  9. mandy_Reeves Says:

    Oh yeah, he was totally wrong…the enumerator. If she said no, all he needed to do was say “ok” and REF it and write up an infocom.

  10. anonymous Says:

    lagirl, I believe the “stories” the enumerators, listers, and field workers have told this past year. We are not walking in their shoes. I’ve had scary moments, too.

  11. Carmen Williams Says:

    I think we are missing some information… how did she get the EQ? Intimidated? Yeah right. Did you see the smirk on her face. While I am not condoning the language of the enumerator; i believe that woman is lying! I bet she did not bargain for her “name on the police report!”

  12. end the census Says:

    Thank you CLA Dave for the information!

  13. PQR Says:

    @mandy_Reeves Unfortunately, all that will do is get him or someone else sent back out there. Not that I agree with what appeared to happen here, but REF is NOT a valid response, according to the Local Census Offices

  14. anonymous678 Says:

    I would never risk my good name for a part time temporary job that ends in a few weeks. Not for any job.

  15. Bobby J Says:

    “I have a federal right to be here” – obviously the census workers are constitutional law scholars. They just happened to be absent the day the 4th amendment and private property rights were covered.

  16. Nowheresville NY Says:

    End the census + CLA Dave: I’d been looking at the same law. Landlords and property managers are required to cooperate if they’re asked about their tennants. Beyond that, being a proxy respondent is voluntary, best as I can tell.


    Bobby J. the constitution and the courts say exactly that, the census worker does have a right to be there. That being said, he should have left, marked it an RE and gotten a proxie, or had someone else reassigned. I have been reassigned double refusals and managed to turn them around. Some times it just takes a different face or situation. I was confronted with your same 4th amendment argument during an interview and the respondent offered to throw me off his property. I responded “I’ll walk away before it comes to that. Are you(throwing me off the property)?” We finished the interview.