Acting Census Bureau Director Takes Part In NALEO Conference In Phoenix

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 1:29pm
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 - 8:38am
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.2 MB)
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Acting U.S. Census Bureau director, Ron Jarmin, (center) participates in a panel discussion on ensuring an accurate count of Latinos in 2020. The event was part of the conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

The acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau visited the Valley Saturday to take part in the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Ron Jarmin served on a panel with officials from California and Miami. The discussion focused on ensuring an accurate count of Latinos in 2020, and it was dominated by talk of a question about citizenship.

Those who oppose the question say it will keep immigrants from participating in the census because they will be afraid of what the government will do with the information.

Federal law is very strict, Jarmin said.

“In terms of what it says, the Census Bureau can use this information for statistical purposes only. We do not provide any of this data to any other government agency,” he said.

At one point, the panel’s moderator noted that federal law requires people to answer census questions truthfully. Then he asked Jarmin what would happen if people leave the question about citizenship blank.

“If the questionnaire is incomplete, or has some odd answers in it, we don’t follow up on all of those cases. But in some cases, we will follow up,” Jarmin said.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against having a question about citizenship on the 2020 census. In May, the Phoenix City Council voted to join the legal fight to block it.

If you like this story, Donate Now!