Waco: Test census survey raises local concerns

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Some Central and North Texas residents have come forward with concerns have receiving the nationwide 2019 Census Test, based on which the Census Bureau will fine-tune planning for the actual 2020 census.

The question appears on a test census survey.

Although the actual census survey forms will not include a question about citizenship, the test survey does.

It includes the question, "Is person 1 a citizen of the United States?” and also asks for information about all other members of the household.

Waco immigration attorney Susan Nelson said Tuesday she has several clients and others calling from the North and Central Texas regions who’ve received the pre-census test along with follow-up letters reminding them the law requires a response and that a census worker will come to their house if they don't comply.

"The fear that you're going to have to reveal people in your family who may not have immigration status or who are not U.S. citizens makes everybody uncomfortable,”
she said Tuesday.

Local activist Louis Garcia said the question is confusing, especially when the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled against its use on the actual census.

"Well I just don't see how it could be mandatory for you to have to answer that type of question especially when it hasn't come out as a formal question yet."

About 480,000 random households got one of two versions of the test survey, one that includes the citizenship question or one that does not.

Still, some believe the test is targeting the Hispanic and Latino communities amid fresh wounds from recent raids and threats of immigration raids across the country by President Donald Trump.

Nelson has some advice for everyone filling out a questionnaire or a census worker knocking at their door.

"I think you need to answer the question to that person and that say, 'I'm not going to answer the citizenship question.' I think everybody should do that not just people again who have mixed status families. But, that's what I would do if I have somebody come to my door is say this is none of your business."

The test survey may also be completed online.

List of questions

1. ow many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on July 1, 2019?
2. Were there any additional people staying here on July, 1, 2019 that you did not include in Question 1?
3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home---- (refers to renting or owning?)
4. What is your telephone number?
5. Please provide information for each person living here. If there is someone living here who pays the rent or owns this residence, start by listing him or her as Person 1. IF they owner or the person who pays the rent does not live here, start by listing any adult living here as Person 1. (it asks that the person's first, last, and middle initial be included)
6. What is Person 1's sex?
7. What is Person 1's age and what is Person 1's date of birth?
8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? (*Note: test taker must answer both questions 8 and 9 and the documents says "For this census, Hispanic origins are not races.")
9. What is Person 1's race?
10. Is Person 1 a citizen of the United States?