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>> How do you do? I'm a census enumerator.>> The US Census Bureau is already getting ready for the 2020 survey.>> The United States Census Bureau.>> But in early tests by census workers, their questions about age and occupation were met with a startling reaction which could compromise the accuracy of the entire census.
Reuters immigration correspondent Mika Rosenberg.>> The census officials were running some test surveys and focus groups. And they said they saw an unprecedented amount of respondents, mostly in immigrant communities, expressing fear about just the interactions with the government workers. In some cases they would break off interviews in the middle.
Or they would give incomplete data about the people that were in their households. And this was alarming, because they said they hadn't seen that kind of behavior before.>> So we're going to secure our border against illegal entry. And we will build the wall.>> US President Donald Trump has promised to expel people living in the country illegally.
A spike in immigration enforcement arrests could be fueling fears about answering the door when government workers ring the bell. The survey responses were so startling that they were presented at a November meeting of the Census Bureau's national advisory committee.>> In one of our Spanish interviews, we had a respondent who said, the possibility that the Census could give my information to internal security and immigration could come and arrest me for not having documents terrifies me.
>> The US Census is extremely important. It only happens every ten years. And basically a huge amount of federal decisions are made based on this. In terms of Congressional representation, redistricting, the distribution of billions of dollars in funds. And the census says that the most important thing is to have everybody in the country counted, no matter what their immigration status, so that there is a clear and accurate data about the US population.
>> Adding to possible complications, the 2020 census will take place in what will very likely be a politically fraught presidential election year.