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Jul 11

U.S. Census Workers Violate Privacy, “Camp out” in Yards of Americans who Decline to Participate

Roger Roots, J.D., Ph.D.

Roger Roots, J.D., Ph.D.

by Dr. Roger I. Roots, founder, Lysander Spooner University

I remember years ago after I graduated from law school, I applied for a job with the U.S. Census Bureau. I attended an initiation meeting in Providence, Rhode Island. At that meeting I recall a Census official telling applicants that as Census agents we would be empowered to enter peoples’ homes without warrant, and trespass and conduct warrantless surveillance upon the American people until we gathered the data the government sought.

I declined to take the job.

Now I read that Census workers in the Dallas area are “camping out” in the yards of recalcitrant Americans, refusing demands to leave, and even stopping Americans from driving away from their homes. The story is here.

It is a myth that such powers are described in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution says only that Congress may conduct a census of the population. That means a count. It doesn’t empower the government to gather any additional information. And it doesn’t empower the government to require Americans to help the government do its count.