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

Chris

May 28th, 2010
11:04 am

Well, I shall sit at home, and await for someone to enter my home uninvited and unannounced and see how they respond to a bullet hole in the head.

Ryan

May 28th, 2010
11:04 am

Untrue. You wanna now how I know? Bob Barr didn’t cite any sources, the true hallmark of a liar.

Cindy Sue Causey

May 28th, 2010
11:08 am

Surely you [HUGE bad word bleeped] jest……………………………………

k/t Tea Party Patriots for highlighting Bob’s post, btw…
~

Robnsn

May 28th, 2010
11:08 am

I filled my short form and mailed it out the next day, like a good citizen. But then I got the long form ………The American Community Survey. Check out the questions. I don’t mind the amount of $’s of utilities or even the size of my home. But the number of cars and specific amount and nature and type of income is none of their business. They are actually asking for the info from page one of your 1040. They are asking the amount of my first and second mortgage payments! I started to respond that info was available from the local utilities for this address, number of cars from the local county court clerk, value of my home from the local property valuation admin and income “sufficient – none provided by the government”, but didn’t think that would go over, so I’m just going to tell them “it’s in the mail”……check with their brother govenment department if they can’t locate it.

Thomas

May 28th, 2010
11:09 am

Sounds like a violation of our constitutional rights. Didn’t we fight a war with the United Kingdom to stop forced unlawful entry and forced billeting of soldiers in private homes?

Harte

May 28th, 2010
11:09 am

I am a census worker, and I believe that this statement is a terrible exaggeration of the truth. First, we are NOT allowed to enter anyone’s apartment, house, mobile home, tent, etc. We are not allowed to look in peoples windows, or any other such drastic measures. In a situation where we cannot gather enough info from the person being enumerated, we use a proxy such as a landlord or a neighbor. Now, the census is NOT some evil information gathering regime created to destroy our freedoms.

There’s a little known thing called CONGRESS, and in order to appoint representatives, the US government needs to know how many people exist in congressional districts. Further questions on the census such as age and race are helpful to get a better picture of these districts and can help in getting proper representation for those districts. Also, knowing that there is a larger elderly population in a certain district for example, will help allocate funding to hospitals in that area.

Most importantly, there are many studies conducted based on census data, including race, and age. How are we supposed to know the demographic in a perceived “cancer cluster” if we do not have accurate census data. For example, if one area appears to have a high incidence of cancer, census data showing that the area has a high number of elderly would justify this, as opposed to causing unnecessary panic.

The US government is a huge bureaucratic machine, and no doubt there are many problems with our personal freedom and responsibility in this country, like the spending of 1 trillion tax payer dollars on a futile drug war, however gathering data on our population is hardly the intrusive nightmare that this article alludes to.

Olfart

May 28th, 2010
11:11 am

If a census worker tries to enter my house he/she better be wearing a bullet proof vest….oh wait a minute…my first round is a head shot with 00 buck so the vest won’t help. My 3 dogs will gladly finish up what’s left…..YUM

Harte

May 28th, 2010
11:12 am

@robnsn This American community survey, is a SCAM. And is not related to the census.

adam

May 28th, 2010
11:13 am

what a shock that this “journalist” has his facts wrong, overstates the potential for harm and fans the flames with more lies. i’m guessing he’s got some tea-bagger in him. for the record, Mr. Barr (Barr Code, seriously? that’s sad) using lies and repeating lies and spreading more lies in support of your wishful hatred does not make any of it true. When you have to resort to lies and exaggerations to support your point, you have no point. The basis for your theory is false. So in your case, you’re either a liar or incompetent or an idiot. I’m guessing it is a combination of the three.

Harte

May 28th, 2010
11:13 am

@olfart Maybe the census should include an IQ test so we can figure out where to move folks like you.

Jason

May 28th, 2010
11:14 am

Quoted “not on my watch”

“It’s amazing to me how so many people claim our givernment is inept, while at the same time beleiving they are behind a massive well-run conspiracy!”

The government is inept. It is the very wealthy individuals who own the “government” and “us” who “hide” the “conspiracy”.

monster667

May 28th, 2010
11:15 am

Enter your apartment when you are not home? To talk to whom? the dog? the walls?

Michael O. Kreps

May 28th, 2010
11:16 am

As a retired Federal law Enforcement officer I fidn this authority outrageous. These people who work for the Census are not properly trained, screened and should not have the right to enter a persons home when they are not home. This is just another reason why the federal government has such a low approval rating. This is a great way for a person to case your home and come back later to burgalrize it.

Robnsn

May 28th, 2010
11:16 am

Harte, you are wrong. It is valid. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/index.html
Check you facts.
Also look over the questions.

Harte

May 28th, 2010
11:17 am

@robnsn Actually this survey is from the census dept, I am wrong. I suppose there is no argument against the intrusiveness of those particular questions. I will defend the census, but not that friggin survey.

TechiePatriot

May 28th, 2010
11:17 am

My wife is a census worker, she is even using search engines, MySpace, Facebook etc.. to look for people who won’t anser their doors, won’t call back from the “notice of visits” left and to track them down like criminals…. I have even show her all she has the authority to colelct is the number of people in the residence that is all that they are allowed by the Constitution and 14th Amendment to collect.

Wolf73b

May 28th, 2010
11:18 am

The government is advertising that we should answer the census, so that they can give us our fair share of federal funding. Many of the examples they cite are clearly municipal responsibilities. If they didn’t take it from us in the first place, we wouldn’t need to give it back to us. I’m refusing to answer the census, based upon my disagreement with the way their Robin Hood activities.

John

May 28th, 2010
11:19 am

They DO NOT have this ‘right’. That’s BS that’s been cooked up recently by our friends in the Obama Whitehouse.

John

May 28th, 2010
11:20 am

Enter your comments here

Robnsn

May 28th, 2010
11:21 am

@ harte
Don’t have a problem with the short form.
What would you do about the survey? Would you answer?

yod

May 28th, 2010
11:23 am

I’d like to find out who is yanking my chain. I am told that this law only allows landlords to give access to an apartment “building” area but not entry into someone’s actual private “residence” when they are away.

Is that right?

Because, if it is, then Bob Barr is misleading people with this blog and I don’t appreciate it.

Rick

May 28th, 2010
11:23 am

Barr, this is what you get when you trumpet your unwavering love for Obama. Invasion of private dwellings. Check. A free pass on the attempted Detroit plane bombing. Check. Another free pass on the oil rig disaster. Check. Complete lack of accountability from the current administration. Check, Check, Check.

TechiePatriot

May 28th, 2010
11:23 am

Harte —
Census workers and the Census beuro itself DOES NOT have the constitutional authority to collect ANY other information beyond a “head count” – PERIOD! The U.S.C. that is quoted in your books and such (my wife is a census worker so I have read everything you have) – is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Their “threats” of fines is worthless! If you read the Statues they quote it says that those fines are POST CONVICTION fines. It means they have to take you to court and you have to be found GUILTY of a crime by a jury of your peers BEFORE those fines can be levied. I bet you see very few people charge with a “crime against the census” as the government would LOSE in court if the person has a decent attorney that knows anything about the constitution. I only put down a “head count” on my census form and have yet to get a visit from anyone from the census for not filling it out completely. IF I do I have a letter typed up already to hand them and let them know to go on their merry way as I won’t answer anything else and don’t have to constituionally – PERIOD. Don’t believe all the LIES they fill your head with.

Jackson 5

May 28th, 2010
11:24 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

Jackson 5

May 28th, 2010
11:25 am

Yes it is right Yod.. completely misleading title.. what a jerk bob barr must be.. good grief..

Jackson 6

May 28th, 2010
11:25 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

Raymond

May 28th, 2010
11:26 am

If I’m in the bed with my lady and someone comes in becasue I didn’t get up and answer the door they will meet me with my .38 special…. so punk, ask yourself “Do you feel lucky?”

JohnQ

May 28th, 2010
11:27 am

It’s also completely legal for me to kill a trespasser in my home in self defense.
hmm, I’m feelin’ kinda threatened…

Sancho Panza

May 28th, 2010
11:28 am

All the legal beagles citing Title 13 of US Code don’t quote relevant phrasing. Here is the reason why: “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.” That does not mean the apartment complex. That means the individual units.

Jackson 7

May 28th, 2010
11:28 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

greg michaels

May 28th, 2010
11:30 am

Someone comes into my apt, they are going to get one in their ear

Jackson 7

May 28th, 2010
11:31 am

Sancho.. you need a reading comprehension lesson.. you are forgetting part of the text

Jackson 8

May 28th, 2010
11:32 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

Thomas

May 28th, 2010
11:36 am

I am a former Census employee, not sure where you gathered your information but you have it totally and completely wrong. Census employees are NOT to enter any apartment. They can ask apartments managers if the apartment was vacant or occupied on April 1st.

Typical right wing republicans trying, I repeart, try to sping things out of control. How easily they forget that the census has been going on since the constitution was written. In fact, the questions they ask this census period are less from the last census in 2000. Remember, it’s the same constitution that is giving you the right to make up lies on this site!

Penny M

May 28th, 2010
11:36 am

It seems are freedoms are disappearing one by one under the pretense that it is for our own good.
Strange but true!

Jackson 9

May 28th, 2010
11:38 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

Willydog

May 28th, 2010
11:39 am

Perhaps it would be easier to just mail the census form the first time you received it. For those who live in fear, this would prevent census workers from entering your home.

Jaymann

May 28th, 2010
11:40 am

Bob Barr, your blog is so full of cr*p.
Cenuss workers do NOT have the power to demand entry into a housing unit to count occupants. And if a home is unoccupied at the time, how would entry into the unit provide for an accurate population count?
Enumerators (the “lowliest” Census workers, as you describe them) are allowed to make up to three site visits to find an occupant at home. Information about who lived in the property as of April 1, 2010 (the national census day) can be provided by anyone 15 or older who lives at the property, not just the primary occupant whose name is on a lease (if rented), mortgage (if owned but still making payments) or deed (if owned free and clear).
After those three site visits, the enumerator can try to make phone contact or can contact neighbors/property managers to verify if the property was occupied on April 1, 2010, and by how many people.
For each person NOT counted in the census, the home community potentially loses out on about $12,000 worth of government grants (transportation, senior care, etc.) that are apportioned on a per capita basis. Not responding to the census only hurts the community where you live.

[...] is extremely WRONG Barron Barnett – Posted on 28 May 2010 I came across something this morning saying that Census workers can enter your household in your absence wi…. What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and [...]

dudefromdixie

May 28th, 2010
11:44 am

Harte: Cleaerly you have been brainwashed by the liberal government establishment. How exactly, and please give details, does knowing my race or age help “to get a better picture of these districts and can help in getting proper representation for those districts.” Isn’t this discrimination? O wait, you work for the goverment so you think discrimination only applies to minorities. It’s people like you and opinions like yours that scare me and make me think this country is finished.

Righty Tighty

May 28th, 2010
11:46 am

I can’t believe Bob Barr would allow an outright lie to be disseminated in his name. Census workers can ACCESS an apartment building and get the names of all inhabitants of an apartment building. They CANNOT ENTER an individual’s apartment. Liar. You make a fool of yourself and fools of all conservatives who presume you are a truthful man. There are other conservative blogs and news sites which consistently indulge in hyperbole and outright lies. You people do damage to the conservatives of this nation with this type of nonsense. We lose credibility. STOP IT!

Jackson -

May 28th, 2010
11:49 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

Mark

May 28th, 2010
11:53 am

Why can’t citizens be counted by tax returns? Everyone fills it out and puts dependents on it.

Jackson -1

May 28th, 2010
11:54 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

Jackson -2

May 28th, 2010
11:54 am

WRONG – Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence

RIGHT – Census workers can enter your apartment BUILDING in your absence

A manager should give access to an apartment building OR provide names… one OR the other..

“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.”

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

mrsharfer

May 28th, 2010
11:56 am

I returned my form with the number of people in my home, period. When the census workers show up, I will answer the door with my Mossberg home protection unit. That should be all they need to know!

skinny eel

May 28th, 2010
11:56 am

Wow, bob, you really know how to screw up your facts. The law states that they are allowed to enter an apartment COMPLEX, not a unit.

This piece is the ultimate in irresponsible writing. I’d call it journalism, but that would be an insult to any newspaper. This is just pure rubbish and you should be ashamed for writing it. Get your facts straight and make a call to the appropriate authorities you lazy git.

mauricio

May 28th, 2010
11:56 am

Well the government can take your money without due recourse. Sieze your assets and property without representation. And you cannot exist in this country without having even the smallest government intrusion unless you live in a cardboard box; then the government leaves you alone.

I wonder how many of those census workers met Mr. Nibbles the ROttwieler when creeping into someones domicile ^_^

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Metapolitiks

May 28th, 2010
11:57 am

Without a search warrant? Nuh uh! If I catch a government lackey uninvited in my home, my CASTLE, I will exercise my 2nd Amendment rights. The coroner will have to clean up his bloody corpse!!!