Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

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?

1,749 comments Add your comment

william sadler

May 28th, 2010
8:48 am

from what I have seen of these census workers, I dont think many know how to open a door or count..Many were employed in professions where all they needed to know was to ask,,”Do you want fries with that order”, and that was to hard for them,,,,reminds me of the morons at the airports sniffing around in peoples shoes,,, dem o rats and leftists love these people, makes them feel superior,,,I come home and find a stranger in my home,,,his counting days will be over,,,,,lol

Mélange « Life on Tour

May 28th, 2010
8:49 am

[...] Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence Scary [...]

Crazy Conservatives

May 28th, 2010
8:49 am

Marc M: Here you go, now be quiet. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode13/usc_sec_13_00000223—-000-.html

How can the same people who jumped down the throats of others when they criticized Arizona’s Immigration Law without reading it believe one biased and misleading fictional writer’s interpretation of the law is correct without actually reading the law? Double standard much?

ThatGuy

May 28th, 2010
8:49 am

seriously – I still am confused about how the questions are “increasingly intrusive.” Don’t we learn about the census in middle school civics? What is everyone so afraid of?

Manny

May 28th, 2010
8:51 am

Yep, they’re evil! Don’t respond because they want to intrude into your lives! They are really a secret army bound by Obama to find ways in which to enslave the free people with federal funds and services.

So run away! Run Away! Ugh!

Draken

May 28th, 2010
8:52 am

Since at least 1999 concerning an incident involving Ft. Hood, Bob Barr has been shooting his mouth off without citing any references of any kind.

Dan in Tennessee

May 28th, 2010
8:52 am

Mr. Bob, This is the first time I have read your articles. From what I can see, this will be the last. I am a conservative and if you are a conservative you are an idiot and should not be able to print such lies. If you are a liberal you are an idiot and should not be able to print such lies either. We do not need people like you. STOP IT!

Standar Irish Bum

May 28th, 2010
8:52 am

He is correct. If you are a true conservative, you should refuse to fill out or cooperate with the census. Don’t let Fartbama’s new Gestapo get your vital info and later on use it to incarcerate you and your family for being REAL God fearing AMERICANS! That is just what Obongo’s hero, Hitler did to find out the info on all the Jews in Germany. Trust in God and guns, not in that Kenyan thug.

Robert Hinman

May 28th, 2010
8:54 am

If it were not of such an obtrusive invasion of privacy it would be at best a joke. China is becoming more of what we used to be while we are becoming more communist and oppressive. maybe we will meet in the middle somewhere after our politicians finish destroying the greatest country ever established.

Jon

May 28th, 2010
8:54 am

Crazy Conservatives,

Everything you said about the Repubs is true, but you left out that the Dems continued all of the Repubs inintrusiveness and actually increased it, they continue the forieng wars and have increased the Repubs 1.5 trillion deficit to 13 trillion, one hell of an improvement huh?

Ron Paul Fan

May 28th, 2010
8:55 am

The ‘Make My Day’ law says they won’t.

BarryS

May 28th, 2010
8:56 am

Ennummerators are trained NOT to enter people’s houses even if asked. Quite frankly, entering a house without the occupant is useless since it doesn’t add to the census form which requires a HUMAN to answer the questios. Just a stupid statement about a rule to allow ennumerators into gated communities and locked apartment buildngs.
And you religious freaks, remember that Joseph and Mary were put to much more trouble for their census and didn’t complain.

ariel

May 28th, 2010
8:57 am

Oooh, that is really scary. Consider the amount of fraud and other violent crimes that could result from this. I don’t want ANYONE snooping around my home or having access where they could potentially assess good points of entries and what is convenient to steal. This is really sick.

T Money

May 28th, 2010
8:59 am

My old landlord did not re-program the door entry buzzer to my apartment when I moved out. This month I oddly started getting “Door Bell” phone calls. Since I no longer live in the building, I didn’t answer my phone to admit them access.

They got pushier. Not only was it every day they stopped by, they started stopping by in the mornings and evenings, and somehow got ahold of my cell number. When I responded to the cell phone call, I told them I no longer resided there, they still kept buzzing me every single day until I requested to speak with a supervisor and have them talk to my landlord.

They are so ass-backwards.

Heseez

May 28th, 2010
8:59 am

I will NOT let them into my house. If I find them there they will be forceably removed and injured in the process.

Marc M

May 28th, 2010
8:59 am

The law:
Sec. 223. Refusal, by owners, proprietors, etc., to assist
census employees

Whoever, being the owner, proprietor, manager, superintendent, or
agent of any hotel, apartment house, boarding or lodging house,
tenement, or other building, refuses or willfully neglects, when
requested by the Secretary or by any other officer or employee of the
Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, acting under the
instructions of the Secretary, to furnish the names of the occupants of
such premises, or to give free ingress thereto and egress therefrom to
any duly accredited representative of such Department or bureau or
agency thereof, so as to permit the collection of statistics with
respect to any census provided for in subchapters I and II of chapter 5
of this title, or any survey authorized by subchapter IV or V of such
chapter insofar as such survey relates to any of the subjects for which
censuses are provided by such subchapters I and II, including, when
relevant to the census or survey being taken or made, the proper and
correct enumeration of all persons having their usual place of abode in
such premises, shall be fined not more than $500.

This can be interpreted in many ways and most likely its intent is not what Barr stated however as it is written, it certainly could also allow what Barr has stated, although most likely it would not be it is still written this way.

Mark

May 28th, 2010
8:59 am

A census worker trying to locate me must have googled me. He called another one of family member’s houses looking for me, and then called my place of work? Maybe he called other places as well; these are the only two that informed me. I think this is crossing the line as well?

Craig Vale

May 28th, 2010
9:00 am

Will someone please bar Barr from opening his pie hole? Yet another paranoid spewer of lies and disinformation. These nuts know of no boundaries that they will not cross.The constitution REQUIRES a census and no one has ever screamed anywhere near this loudly before. Most of the complainers don’t even believe this crap themselves but like many issues this past year, they all jump on board for the cry ride.
I believe most of this stuff comes from the paranoia surrounding the fact the the President is black and a lot of folks want none of that! Hence the cry to ” Take our Country Back ”
Sorry assed losers , the lot of them. If the don’t like democracy ( Elections) let them go live elsewhere. How about Mexico?

fishergirlusmc

May 28th, 2010
9:01 am

i’m a gun-owner, if anyone enters my home, they do so at their own peril!!! lock and load

The Truth Sucks

May 28th, 2010
9:02 am

I love how people like Mr. Barr here are using liberal interpretations of the census laws to push their stories from mediocre tinfoil-wearing reports to something much more noble and even fark-worthy. His story shows no specific articles, data, or even links to where this has happened already.

I went ahead and actually did all of Mr. Barr’s legwork (you know, the work he was supposed to do before writing) and found a few different copies of the Census Enumeration Manual.
In fact, here is one released in 2009 that was the pretext for the current official job guide:
http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/annex/forms/enumerator.pdf

Now I do see mention that participation in the 2010 census is mandatory, but missing are the parts where census workers are REQUIRED or that they should demand entry into people’s homes, nor does it say that census workers are to DEMAND phone numbers from landlords or apartment managers.

In fact the manual specifically states that a census worker “may only enter into a home when invited”. Hmm that’s a very different take that what Mr. Barr here wrote. The manual goes on to state that information cannot be guess or supposed, and MUST be collected via household member or proxy. So that means even if the were allowed to enter your home they couldn’t use anything they find in the person’s home to obtain the data needed, as only a live human being (that is not the census worker) is allowed to provide data.

And for those of you that are still complaining that the census is mandatory, you forget that the first Constitutionally required census was done in 1790, when American’s who were still sympathetic to Britain were housing British soldiers. And oh yeah, it was enforced again in the late 1800’s when people were still trying to keep SLAVES after the 13th amendment was enacted.

But still, it’s such a hassle right? I mean 10 questions that take less than 10 minutes??? Why should I do the census, it doesn’t nothing for me. I would rather go to the park for a walk, or shoot hoops at the local rec center, or visit my sick friend in the hospital, or attend the little play my child is doing at school, or send some cookies to my friend in prison.

Even with the quiff and Ralph Lauren frames, Bob Barr’s “blog” here sounds more like a rant from an angry old man who is fealfull the government is going to get him and just wants those DAMN KIDS OFF HIS LAWN!

Next time, I suggest you use this new invention in the field of reporting called “facts”.

D

May 28th, 2010
9:03 am

The Census requires you to answer HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE IN THE RESIDENCE!
YOU DO NOT BY LAW HAVE TO ANSWER ANY OTHER QUESTIONS ON THE FORM!

Helen

May 28th, 2010
9:03 am

Its a shocker how simply filling out the form could eliminate the need for any census worker to visit in the first place. Instead people complain, moan, and everything in between… and would rather use tax dollars to pay millions of census workers to struggle to gain access to their homes and fill out a form that takes 5 minutes for them.

I’m sick of hearing people bashing the census and its employees. Especially when so many are ignorant of the true purpose behind the statistical data that is collected. Its for YOUR own good, but that it apparently difficult for some to understand.

Maryland Patriot

May 28th, 2010
9:03 am

To those who keep insisting that the data is kept confidential for 72 years, please explain the unconstitutional use of that data in relation to the Japanese internment during WW2. The reason they were so easily rounded up was because the census had the “unintrusive” questions about race back then too.

All the USG had to do was consult the “confidential” census records and voila, a list of all citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry. Yes, you read that right. U.S. citizens were included in the internment camps. Look it up. It really happened.

Anyone supposing this could never happen again is fooling themselves. The USG is far more intrusive now than it was in the 1940’s. So, still think giving out your personal descriptive details is so “unintrusive”? I surely do not. They got the form back with my enuration and “human” in the racial questions. Plus a citation of some court cases to support my position.

As to the details of this article, I would expect there is some hyperbole in it. A bit like all the anthropogenic Global Warming hysteria that was so “scientific” that the data had to be “enhanced” by its creators.

Manny

May 28th, 2010
9:04 am

Oh, and let me say this: Yes, a census taker can legally enter your apartment or hotel room. This is true. Not your house or condominum, but your apartment or hotel room.

So the census taker can go in. With consent. And you know who else? The maintenance man. The apartment manager. The apartment owner.

And think: Why would some census worker want to go into your place without you being there? Grow some nuance!

Commodore Biggles

May 28th, 2010
9:05 am

Umm, NO.

How much research did you do for this “article?” As a current census employee I can tell you that no, WE DO NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO ENTER A HOUSE. We do however have authority to cross your lawn and knock on your door. We also have authority to enter an APARTMENT COMPLEX, not individual apartments.

Thanks for the fearmongering, idiot. You’ve just made my job that much harder.

Mark Stephens

May 28th, 2010
9:11 am

In Colorado we have the make my day law. I wonder if the Census workers will change this rule after a few of them are legally killed as intruders???

CJ Cox

May 28th, 2010
9:12 am

Basic Principles-
Support true Conservatives, they will uphold the Constitution which made this a Nation.
Get Active. Send some money and lend your labor for these Conservatives’ campainges.
Contact Everyone and talk to them about their personal freedom and how losing it will make worse the issues they are personnaly concerned with.
VOTE OUT any Leftist and any Republican who collaborates with the Left.

Texas Bob

May 28th, 2010
9:13 am

I went to my local library yesterday and several census workers were having a meeting outside the library. A couple of them were strange looking. If either of them rang my doorbell I would not let them in my house.

Sam

May 28th, 2010
9:13 am

Total BS, Bob. I worked for the 2000 Census and am now working for the 2010 Census. Door to door workers have NOT been told they have that right. Not in the ten years I’ve worked for them. I went through all the training sessions and the only thing that’s ever been suggested along these lines is to show respect for people’s privacy – and NOT to barge into their homes and make demands. In fact, for door to door types, if they run into ANY resistence, they are trained to just kick the problem up the ladder. Your article is toally false. Where’s your source, backup or proof, Bob.

Tom M

May 28th, 2010
9:14 am

I have worked as a crew leader for the Census since Feb 2009. We are never instucted to enter peoples homes or Apts. We hand out Confidentially Notices explaining our role and the privacy of the information we collect. We are trained to never threaten with fines or penalities. If we have a difficult interview their are forms to docment it and it’s passed up the chain. I don’t know why Mr Barr is passing out this kind of nonsense.

Gerard

May 28th, 2010
9:17 am

No one is getting fined by the Census and no Census workers are entering into peoples homes. This is a silly story. Furthermore, anyone that suggests the Census Questionnaires have become increasingly intrusive must be making the statement in the absence of any investigation since the Census Questionnaires have become increasingly benign and un-intrusive. No questions about income, Social Security, citizenship etc etc. We can’t be taken seriously as Libertarians if we continue to subscribe to uninformed paranoid rhetoric with no basis in reality. The census has been happening since 1789 and is one of the few things that the federal government does that it actually has a constitutional mandate to do.

Mustafa Awad

May 28th, 2010
9:17 am

Folks, I have worked as an administrative law attorney for the federal government, the following synopsis accurately sums up the intent of this intrusive law.

BTW, all the census workers posting here really need to THINK about what they’re saying and writing. We citizens don’t care what you learn in your training or in your manuals, we care about the government using every means possible to spy, snoop and attack the citizenry. Plus, you have a crappy job, are a government stooge and just away for Biraq to falsely boost his unemployment “figures” – do this republic a favor, shut up and quit.

WRONG – Census workers cannot enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence, and search your belongings to ascertain the number of residents as of April 1.

A manager shall give access to an apartment building AND provide keys to individual units to adhere to the following binding statute.

“Whoever, being the owner, proprietor, manager, superintendent, or agent of any hotel, apartment house, boarding or lodging house, tenement, or other building, refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary or by any other officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, acting under the instructions of the Secretary, to furnish the names of the occupants of such premises, or to give free ingress thereto and egress therefrom to any duly accredited representative of such Department or bureau or agency thereof, so as to permit the collection of statistics with respect to any census provided for in subchapters I and II of chapter 5 of this title, or any survey authorized by subchapter IV or V of such chapter insofar as such survey relates to any of the subjects for which censuses are provided by such subchapters I and II, including, when relevant to the census or survey being taken or made, the proper and correct enumeration of all persons having their usual place of abode in such premises, shall be fined not more than $500.”

Per administrative law, the census worker is allowed to obtain refreshment from the legally entered domicile, including water, soft drinks and sandwiches. At this time, the OMB is forbidding census workers to use private domicile appliances.

It’s called reading comprehension and wisdom sheeple.. not so good these days…

Gerard

May 28th, 2010
9:21 am

and thanks for making a lot of peoples summer job that much more difficult

Ryan P

May 28th, 2010
9:21 am

I don’t answer the door then they come by or answer the mail in questionaires. I used to open the door and stare at them blankly and wait about half a minute to answer their questions, but it’s too much work and I think the new census workers would just call the police or something if you did that.

Sam

May 28th, 2010
9:21 am

T MONEY Says: “My old landlord did not re-program the door entry buzzer to my apartment when I moved out. This month I oddly started getting “Door Bell” phone calls. Since I no longer live in the building, I didn’t answer my phone to admit them access. They got pushier. Not only was it every day they stopped by, they started stopping by in the mornings and evenings, and somehow got ahold of my cell number. When I responded to the cell phone call, I told them I no longer resided there, they still kept buzzing me every single day until I requested to speak with a supervisor and have them talk to my landlord. They are so ass-backwards.

THEY’RE ass-backwards? Try you and your landlord, instead. The Census starts by tracking residences, because you and your landlord couldn’t be bothered to take care of the problem, you wasted taxpayer money for others to try to figure it out. Pushy? That’s their job, moron. Try to look at the world through the eyes of others instead of your own, selfish, one way peepers, for a change.

LindaB

May 28th, 2010
9:22 am

Bob Barr is an idiot Libertarian going to far this time. There is NO US code that allows this it is illegal and he knows it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No wonder he can’t win an election he doesn’t know the law!

Richard Spokesman

May 28th, 2010
9:22 am

When the Japanese-Americans were rounded up and place in interment camps, the president (of course he was a Demoncrat) used the census data from 1940 to lock them up. I fear that Obam-bob-a-loo-bop is going to use this census’ data to do the same to the Real Americans that he hates so much. Don’t trust these Acorn-in-a-sheep’s skin census workers. Go ahead and make sure you are stocked up on food, ammo and guns. Once the Obamanation’s taxes have finished taxing all of us hard working conservatives into the poor-house, we won’t be able to afford them then. Show that Socialist fascist that we won’t be intimidated by his Acorn/census workers. Refuse to fill out the form.

Scott

May 28th, 2010
9:22 am

So, if you actually read the statute, it does not grant census workers the right to enter into your apartment or house. It states “to give free ingress thereto and egress therefrom” which to laymen means the landlord must permit the representative ingress to and egress from the home or rather the landlord cannot stop the worker from walking onto … See Morethe property and knocking on the door, that’s all. It does not permit the landlord, government worker or anyone else to actually enter a dwelling. I’m a real estate attorney, it’s common language in leases and statutes, and if you don’t believe me, look up the words egress and ingress in a law dictionary. But seriously, if you hysterical birther types don’t want to be counted by the census, more power to you. It just means that more deserving parts of the country will get more federal money.

Sam

May 28th, 2010
9:24 am

RYAN SAID “I don’t answer the door then they come by or answer the mail in questionaires. I used to open the door and stare at them blankly and wait about half a minute to answer their questions, but it’s too much work and I think the new census workers would just call the police or something if you did that.”

Wow… you’re a real radica, right onl Ryan. Way to ’stick it to the man.’ In reality, you’re just wasting everybody’s time and money (including your own, if you’re a taxpayer), but… if it makes you feel better to stare blankly for half a minute – go for it. You really know how to handle the situation like a real man.

Gerard

May 28th, 2010
9:25 am

Mustafa you can’t just write things as though they are fact and consider the matter settled. You are making things up if you can’t provide evidence. Show me one case where this has legally happened. No one has been fined, no one has had there sandwiches searched. And what exactly is the government spying for? It’s narcissistic to think that the government wants to spy on you, they even make pills for that.

The Reveren

May 28th, 2010
9:25 am

This article is in error. I work for the census bureau and the works do not have the right to enter your house, apartment, trailer, or what you call home. If they work for the census they will not ask to enter you home for any reason. These articles are being written without checking the facts. Wait a minute, new agencies making up news stories? Like that has never happen.

Bill

May 28th, 2010
9:25 am

And I have the right to shoot any intruder in my house!

James Monroe

May 28th, 2010
9:27 am

Empty wagons rattle the loudest!

I worked as a cesnus enumerator and an enumerator recruiter. These people make so much noise, me think thou doth protest to much! People either have something to hide or not. Send in the survey, get counted and if you happen to be of a nature that you might have children….don’t you want federal dollars sent to build classrooms for your future children??????? Get real people!

Sam

May 28th, 2010
9:27 am

DICK SPOKESMAN Says: “When the Japanese-Americans were rounded up and place in interment camps, the president (of course he was a Demoncrat) used the census data from 1940 to lock them up. I fear that Obam-bob-a-loo-bop is going to use this census’ data to do the same to the Real Americans that he hates so much. Don’t trust these Acorn-in-a-sheep’s skin census workers. Go ahead and make sure you are stocked up on food, ammo and guns. Once the Obamanation’s taxes have finished taxing all of us hard working conservatives into the poor-house, we won’t be able to afford them then. Show that Socialist fascist that we won’t be intimidated by his Acorn/census workers. Refuse to fill out the form.”

You’re perfectly named Dick. In 2 or 6 years, when Obama eventually leaves office, and your world is no different (except for all the guns, ammo and cluelessness you’ve acquired) are you going to look back and realize how you’ve been duped by racists and Dem haters? Or are you going to think your actions helped save America? I suspect the latter, but the truth is in the former.

Jon

May 28th, 2010
9:28 am

The Truth Sucks,

Your nievte is amusing, trying to buld a case that the census is valuable is silly,. You cite that people would rather “walk in the park or shoot hoops at the community center, a veiled quip, at things that may be lost if the census were not completed, but I don’t walk in a park, I walked down the streets and talk to my neighbors, I do not shoot hoops at a community center, I do it in the back yard of my suburban home. So in these cases that you cite, the census does NOTHING for me.

You invoke the scenes of slavery to make your point but you fail, since slavery is no longer with us in the sense you cite.

But before you attempt to rebut my points, I have no problem filling out a form even, one so blatantly racist as the census (does it matter how many hispanics live or do not live in my home? NO it does not,) What I have a problem with is the incompetence of the census bureau. I get taxed to pay these incompetent boobs to mail out redundant forms and then show up at my home interrupting my activities to answer question which I already answered.

The next time I get a census form I may me motivated to follow the example of Christopher Walken.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/4165/saturday-night-live-census-taker

The Reveren

May 28th, 2010
9:29 am

Just to reply about Richard Spokesman comment. I have heard about this from one other person. All I can tell you is now the census has title 13 which prohibits any other agency from getting the information on an individual. We do not share the information with the FBI, CIA, or any other government agency other than statistical data. If the President wants data on an individual he can not get it. The FBI has gone to the Supreme Court to get data from the Census and the Court has always sided with the Census bureau because of the title 13 protection.

Max

May 28th, 2010
9:32 am

Bob: What money? The government, Obama himself has said there is no more money. So, sorry if I missed your sarcasm, If not you need to re-evaluate your thoughts on the issue. The only people getting money (real money lol) are the international banks. As well as certian Federarlly owned financial institutions. But, back to the point, I think the majority of Americans would prefer to keep their remaining civil liberties over the promise of federal money that exists only in fiction.

Ryan P

May 28th, 2010
9:32 am

Census workers aren’t that powerful. They are lower than meter maids. If you open the door and it’s a census person, just calmly don’t react to anything they say. Just stand there. They won’t know what to do. It’s pretty entertaining, you just look at them until they leave.

SUZY BAILEY

May 28th, 2010
9:32 am

AND I WOULD SHOOT THEM IF I CAUGHT THEM COMING OUT OF MY HOUSE OR EVEN BARGING IN! I WOULD GO TO PRISON FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE BECAUSE I WOULD NOT CARE!!!!!!!! NO ONE IS GOING TO COME INTO MY HOME LIKE THAT. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

Truth In Advertising

May 28th, 2010
9:33 am

There is some confusion this year about the Census. The 2010 “Census” survey itself is pretty much equivalent to the “short form” of year’s past.

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/interactive-form.php

In a sleight-of-hand, however, the government (during the previous Democratic administration but implemented during the last Republican administration) actually expanded, and revamped what used to be the “long form” into the “American Community Survey”.

http://www.census.gov/acs/www/index.html

Although this form is mailed on a continuing basis to different households every two years, to make matters intentionally more confusing, it is also being sent to certain households this year along with the Census. So while claims we’ve heard about the “Census” not being as intrusive as years past, those claims are intellectually dishonest because in essence the long form has just been renamed, expanded, and sent out more often.

The elitist in this country play this kind of game because they know a lot of people on the left and the right get their “facts” from unreliable sources who confirm their respective prejudices, and aren’t informed well enough to actually have the facts to know the truth and respond appropriately.