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

disabledvet

May 28th, 2010
10:21 am

1st guy damn near knocked disabled woman down as he barged in, as she opened the door to see who was knocking. When I came out of the bathroom, arrogant pos was in full interrogation mode. I tried to talk w/ him, explained my resentment for the illegal alien in the WH getting everybody’s personal information, and kicked his sorry ass out. He prob’ly took paid time off to get this high paying job, which he claimed he’s been doing every year for over ten years! Next pos bitch rolls up in her Mercedes, and repeats some comments made by pos #1. This is good for about $2500 fine and up to 10 yrs. Third door to door was a young guy who actually was glad to find ‘any’ work, and was upset to hear about the other two, assuring me, that during his training, he was actually told that these things are, illegal, and if they are reported, they will be charged, and face possible fines and jail time. Good thing I didn’t come out of the bathroom with my 12 gauge, eh? Bust into my house, two of us disabled, not able to move about real quickly, having been beaten, threatened, robbed, and some pos thinks they are going to just barge in on us???? Call it my castle, call it whatever ’syndrome’ you want, but it sure as hell ain’t gonna happen again! Impeach this illegal alien, confiscate his blood money/assets and return him to Kenya or Indonesia or just drop him out of a chopper 3 miles out and let the sick, preverted pos swim to the country of his choice. Major Owens should also be dropped to keep him from the sharks…

mb

May 28th, 2010
10:24 am

There is a way to get some little benefits from the home invasion facto. These statistics are used to justify projects for the CDBG (HUD funded) grants based on race, income and the other stats they pick up with these surveys.

So if you tell them you are African American, and make under 25k p/y they have to take your word for it. You then contribute to lower property taxes and increased eligibility for HUD funded projects. The Census Tracts and Block Groups are the primary eligibility factors for funding projects like parks & rec upgrades, starting a small business in your neighborhood (yes), fixing up the local community center, leveling out a sidewalk or creating a bike trail…

Your local grass roots organization will thank you for it. Or hey – set up your own 501(c)3 and do something nice for your neighborhood. All you need is $250.00 and the right statistics.

Admittedly it’s not the most honest approach but think about it — do you really know whether you have “roots”? I mean, what if you are generationally related and don’t know it? Not all African Americans are of color nor do they all live in marginalized neighborhoods. Yet their children still deal with many of the same issues as the youth who do come from these areas.

Just say’n.

Rusty

May 28th, 2010
10:25 am

Well, we’ve already had one homeowner shot dead by police (67 yr. old grandma inside her home) as a result of not putting her unloaded weapon down after ordering census goons off her property. The feds will do whatever they want, whenever they want. Believe it.

http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=81905

http://community.lawyers.com/forums/t/100680.aspx

Arielle

May 28th, 2010
10:27 am

This is really nuts…First the Census questions are NOT at all “intrusive”, second, if the “Americans” in question simply fulfilled THEIR Constitutional obligation to be counted and filled out the damn form and sent it in, they wouldn’t have to have a visit at all. And third, the census workers can legally enter an apartment building…not each specific apartment…in fact, they aren’t even supposed to enter apartments if INVITED in (as I witnessed first hand when one of my tenets didn’t send in his form). This blogger is making much ado about NOTHING.

Mason

May 28th, 2010
10:27 am

I thought one was only obliged to disclose the number of residents and that the other questions were optional. That’s the only question I answered. The census worker was a bit miffed but didn’t hassle me any further.

JessicaViv

May 28th, 2010
10:27 am

I’m curious as to what purpose they have in your house, if you are not their to answer their questions about how many occupy it??

How is this legal, this is why people are getting upset and refuse to cooperate with the census works. In the mid 1700 when the resisters of government oppression and over taxation were gearing up to create the declaration of Independence, this is what they were fighting against.

DHAM

May 28th, 2010
10:28 am

I continue to get calls from people claiming they are part of the Census team hired by the Governement to work 9:00 am – 9:00 pm to call and verify that I filled out my form correctly. They are asking me to complete a 10 minute survey over the phone and tell me its required by federal law that I participate. I told them I already filled out the form and I’m not going to answer any more questions. I also told them not to call back becuase they are wasting tax payers money.

Can they demand that I respond to the phone interview?

Fred

May 28th, 2010
10:29 am

I am doing the census count in my area and in my training these activities were explicitly prohibited! I am curous to see – published – where this information came from (public law,census bereau guidelines, etc.) before I would give it ANY credence. ” trust but verify……”

dudefromdixie

May 28th, 2010
10:30 am

One thing that I don’t get about the census, I was selected “at random” to answer a questionaire about my employement, whether I was employed, had collected unemployment benefits, etc. Of course I told the census worker to forget it I wasn’t giving him any information. He didn’t like that but left. After reading the questionaire and the supposed reason for it, I asked myself, “Self, why can’t they just get this data from the labor department?” The obvious answer from self was “The Commerce and Labor departments probably hate each other and don’t share information. Much like the CIA and FBI.” My self is a pretty smart guy. Anyway, tell the census working how many people live in your household and to hit the road and hope they don’t come back.

Andrew Payne

May 28th, 2010
10:31 am

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Duh

May 28th, 2010
10:32 am

Wow where did you hear this. Can you give any actual reference to where you make these claims from. Really what kind of info could some get from entering an apartment. This guy is an idiot

Tim Baker

May 28th, 2010
10:32 am

sorry, this is called breaking and entry. They will pay the consequences no matter what the law states.

Rusty

May 28th, 2010
10:33 am

You are not required by federal law to talk to ANYONE on the phone. How can anyone verify their status over the phone?? Tell them to $hit in their hat.

DC Census Worker

May 28th, 2010
10:33 am

WRONG BOB!

Do you even have any neurons firing up there? What do you think we do, arm-wrestle a landlord after he denies our “DEMAND” for a “private” cell phone number?

If nobody is home after 3 visits, we can ask neighbors, landlords/building managers, realtors, etc for information. We ask, “How many people live here?” “What are their ages/races?” Do they own, rent, etc?” “Is this a vacation home?”

And there are FEWER questions than in previous years, making it LESS intrusive, not “increasingly intrusive,” you irresponsible dolt.

Do you think we somehow force our way into a home and go through drawers to find birthdates? Look at family photos to guess race? And $500 fines? First find at least ONE INSTANCE of that happening. Like a death-panel or FEMA camp!

You are a real jackass with a typical right-wing wild imagination! I can’t wait to encounter your true believers on my shift.

What a waste of space that could be occupied by decent, informative journalism.

sy

May 28th, 2010
10:34 am

Fine or no fine, try this $h17 in Texas, the idiot would be dead and the owner would have a fine of 500 bucks.. whoopie

Acornholio

May 28th, 2010
10:34 am

Here in Oklahoma if someone enters your house uninvited and unannounced you are within your right to blow their ass away. Can’t wait.

Oust The Kenyan !

May 28th, 2010
10:35 am

Don’t fill it out! Refuse to collabarate with these communist nazis. When a country is takin over by an enemy the people must refuse to help or rendar assistance in any way to the enemy. That inposter who stole the election WILL USE THAT DATA to first take your guns and then put you in reducation camps where the will make you be a homo and atheist and politcally correct. the russian czar used communism just like Hussane Obama wants to by locking all of us up and be the slaves of the lazy who have never once worked a honest job in their life. He wants to destroy our culutre and heritage of belief in God and freedom. Our founding fathers would have been so sad to see what has happened to us. They would refuse to submit. After the democrat party loses the next election hopefully Sarah Palin will be able to fix everything that this muslin wants to destroy. He may just try to not even have elction and if he does I am ready to fight for AMERICA.

G.E. Alexander

May 28th, 2010
10:36 am

Go ahead, enter. I’ll notify your next of kin where they may find the body bag.

Holly

May 28th, 2010
10:36 am

As a Property Manager I can tell you, the fine is much cheaper than a lawsuit from a resident so I will just have to pay the fine
I NEVER give access to an occupied apartment unless an emergency such as a busted water heater and then it is only my staff to deal with the heater
The Federal government and census workers can kiss my arse, I am protecting my residents

Wren

May 28th, 2010
10:36 am

Dear Barr,
Please cease writing about issues wherein you are required to interpret law, as you are apparently an idiot, or lazy, or intentionally deceptive. There was a time when the term ‘work ethic’ meant something to a reporter, you know.

Big Red

May 28th, 2010
10:37 am

Tea Party UNITE! Do not answer census questions! They are illegal. Literally, they hire illegals. Ask them for birth certificates if they come to your door, and they will go away!

Houston

May 28th, 2010
10:38 am

The census worker came by because I answered only the questions that the governmnet needed to “count” the number of people in my home. She was very nice, very polite and was very understanding of my reluctance to answer certain questions. I met her outside, invited her into the shade and politely told her that I did not desire to answer certain questions. She “assumed” my ethnicity incorrectly (I did not correct her), marked it on her form and went on her way.

kevinbgoode

May 28th, 2010
10:39 am

Why is this clown even writing a column? Clearly this was a deliberate attempt to cloud factual information, to manipulate the interpretation of the law to frighten Americans and this just serves no useful purpose except to spread the usual fear-and-smear. It doesn’t even function as a credible opinion.

How does this newspaper even begin to justify this kind of unethical journalistic crap?

Motheater

May 28th, 2010
10:40 am

Granting access to a building is different from providing a direct entry to a residence.Imagine where one is allowed after entering a hospital,where access and at what time is at the whim of the establishment. A Census worker has been trained for circumstances under which to proceed. The author of this article should abandon preconceived notions [whacko right-wingnut] and realize that the intent of the Law is to grant access only. After gaining entry, the Federal representative would follow a mandated policy…You whacko right-wingers need to stop creating half-truths, twisting any minute smidgeon of a concept into something that you deem to be real to fit your perception of the world so that your fellow lemmings can feel good in your circle ‘belly scratch’ . It’s your right to be an ass…BE THE BEST THAT YOU CAN…BUT…Always be a good sport and be a good sport ALL WAYS. PeAce

kevinbgoode

May 28th, 2010
10:40 am

To Big Red:

Shouldn’t the census workers be asking people for their birth certificates – you know, just to make sure they are only counting U.S. citizens?

cujat

May 28th, 2010
10:41 am

My Springfield XD(M) begs to differ!

Zippertuck

May 28th, 2010
10:41 am

Bob, where is your proof? Where does it state Census workers have the right to enter an apartment or home? Would love to see it. Otherwise I think you are just trying to get people angry over something that is not worth getting angry over. I’m calling shenanigans!

Harumphhh

May 28th, 2010
10:43 am

http://law.justia.com/us/codes/title13/13usc223.html

I’m no lawyer but it appears the cited passage has been law since 1952. You remember the 1950’s, right? That golden age in America for which conservatives and patriots pine to return? So how is this suddenly Obama’s assault on our freedom to sit behind our locked doors cradling our shotguns?

JustMe

May 28th, 2010
10:44 am

Elliott

May 28th, 2010
10:44 am

Well you know, if you just filled out the form to begin with there wouldn’t be any reason for them to enter your apartment.

Besides this story sounds like crap anyway.

Rusty

May 28th, 2010
10:46 am

They CAN >>> http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode13/usc_sec_13_00000223—-000-.html

The law is specifically written to accommodate the government.

kevinbgoode

May 28th, 2010
10:46 am

harumphhh –

They don’t call them con-artist con-servatives for nothing.

Ben in Virginia

May 28th, 2010
10:48 am

Sounds like the perfect job for somebody who is a career criminal and looking for unfettered access to homes to exploit.. Just show some unschooled apartment manager or superintendent a copy of the statue as proof of authorization along with a census ID card and viola! Instant access and instant intelligence on possible booty to be had in a break-in or armed robbery/home intrusion. Thank you Census bureau…..Once again proving that Government is the root of many of our problems and very few actual “solutions”…..

M.Siers

May 28th, 2010
10:49 am

I see no reference to documentation on this. As a matter of fact, to the contrary, the census site says they won’t ask to be let into your home:

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/how/preparing.php

“If you don’t send back your form, you may receive a visit from a census taker. If a census taker visits you, here’s what you should do:

* First ask to see their ID. All census workers carry official government badges marked with just their name; they may also have a “U.S. Census Bureau” bag
* Note that the census taker will never ask to enter your home
* If you’re still not certain about their identity, please call the Regional Census Centers to confirm they are employed by the Census Bureau…”

TK

May 28th, 2010
10:49 am

I heard that the ad campaign is so effective at saying “more people = more money” that people are actually putting more residents on the form then there really are in order to “get more money” from the government. Nice eh?

Don't tred on me

May 28th, 2010
10:49 am

Harumphhh, we are not stupid. we know when that law was passed. The difference here is that Obango hates our culture and will do evertyhing he can to deystroy it. He wants to make our kids into gay atheists and force people to only have one kid like his role model China. The presidents we’ve had since the law was passed have (mostly except for the demoncrat ones) had Americas best interests at heart and tried to not abuse their power. Our so called president isn’t even an American citizen so we know he doesn’t even care about us real Americans.

BROKEN CENSUS

May 28th, 2010
10:49 am

@Byron Mathison Kerr

i filled out the census form and sent it back. they send me another one to fill out, as if i hadnt returned it. then they send a reminder to me to fill it out. then something is posted in my building that census people will be coming around.

when does it end? why not use social security numbers and immigration statistics? maybe let people use the internet to reply to the thing we receive in the mail? this would involve them giving each address a “unique ID number” for tracking purposes, but it would seem like the efficient way to do things. the current system is archaic beyond belief.

dudefromdixie

May 28th, 2010
10:51 am

Census worker: My race and the fact that I own or rent my home is none of your GD business so don’t even waste your time asking.

madtrouter

May 28th, 2010
10:52 am

Lets see how far they get with my Glock pointed in their face…

Some Guy

May 28th, 2010
10:52 am

It’s funny how all these people won’t fill out a 10 question census form as it’s too intrusive, but they all have Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts detailing their every day life

ColtAuto45

May 28th, 2010
10:52 am

OMG … (Helen = May 28th, 2010 = 9:03 am = “Its for YOUR own good..”) Did you even think about what you said? That is like “I’m from the government and I am here to help”. SCARY!!!

texan

May 28th, 2010
10:54 am

come on in to my apt, and there will be some funerals in the coming days,

Cmorr

May 28th, 2010
10:55 am

Apparently, no one has considered what the States could do with all the money sent to DC that is sent back to the States after DC gets its share. Billions, folks. Billions. As to the census request for ethnicity, just fill Other as “American,” presuming you are. And if you fill out the census form and mail it in, you won’t have any census worker knocking at your door. Simple, huh?

jerk

May 28th, 2010
10:56 am

stop worrying about the census and start worrying about the thousands upon thousands of illegal aliens entering the country every day.

Chris Carman

May 28th, 2010
10:56 am

This is only PARTIALLY Correct. The Census workers are able to access where one lives ie a Condominium, Apartment Complex, Group living area etc in general places that have NO SOLICITATION signs or are guarded by a gate, BUT they cannot physically go into a place one lives. Only to the door ie if one is in a condo they can gain access to the hall one lives on but not access to the door of your physical property.

Wusung

May 28th, 2010
10:56 am

Well at least for now we have the right to bear arms and in Colorado the make my day law is still in place. The government can stay out of my house.

MikeH

May 28th, 2010
10:56 am

The census worker showed up at my home after I filled the form out with only the first line completed(# of occupants). I told her that was all she needed to know, she said fine and that was it.

I don’t really care what supposedly the law says regarding census workers entering my home. No one is coming in who I don’t want there – it’s that simple. I’m going to consider it unlawful entry if they do.

furby

May 28th, 2010
10:58 am

Bob Barr looks like Edward Hibbert who plays Gil Chesterton on “Frasier”….the little queer guy…..

dudefromdixie

May 28th, 2010
11:02 am

SomeGuy: Clearly you are an idiot. Having a Facebook or Twitter account (I have neither BTW) is a personal choice. Having to answer questions that are unconstitional is a different matter. Where would you draw the line? I’m curious. Would you answer questions about your income, your net worth, your education level, your penis size?

San Diego County Apartment Association

May 28th, 2010
11:02 am

Under Federal law, the census workers can gain access to a rental community and recieve a list of the names of the occupants, but that is all a property owner is required to provide. Under California law the information in the resident’s file is protected by privacy laws. The only way a landlord sould provide that information to others is as a result of a court order.