The upcoming 2020 U.S. census has many inside and around the Census Bureau concerned the agency is not prepared for the complicated process of counting every person in the country, The Hill reports.
"I'm not confident they're ready one year out," said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, which oversees the Census Bureau. "I'm very concerned. I'm concerned on where they are on their budget, I'm concerned on technology, I'm concerned on substance."
He added, "they're not meeting their own deadlines, and so what confidence does that give you that they're going to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in 2020 when they actually conduct the census?"
The congressman said the ongoing fight over whether to include a question about citizenship on the census could harm immigrant communities and young children.
"If the citizenship question stays in, then we face a very high rate of noncompliance, and that means you're going to have to add on a number of enumerators who will [need] to go back physically and try to capture the information they didn't get the first time around," Connolly said.
"It seems like the work that the bureau has done shows that unease with government is higher than it has been previously," said John Thompson, a former Census Bureau director who left in 2017. "They're going to do their best to get the best count that they can. But if there are concerns that they can't overcome, the safety, the confidentiality of the information, there could be an undercount, and it could be bigger than it was."
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