Tags: Homeland Security | Immigration | Trump Administration | census | citizenship | green card | translators

Report: Census Bureau May Hire Non-Citizens for '20

bald, nude men have black bar codes on the top of their heads to depict a census in counting people
(Federico Gambarini/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 August 2019 05:10 PM

The Census Bureau is examining a legal loophole in federal law that officials say could allow the agency to hire non-U.S. citizens to try to reach certain groups — but officials said Wednesday that illegal immigrants would not be hired.

"The Census Bureau only intends to temporarily hire permanent legal residents to act as translators," Michael Cook, a division chief in the agency's public information office, told U.S. News.

Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from hiring non-citizens, and even those hired temporarily by the agency are considered federal employees and are legally required to be American citizens.

But Census officials could hire translators temporarily, under some federal exemptions, along with those admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence while they are seeking citizenship — or those who have been admitted as refugees or granted asylum.

People could also be hired for up to 60 days on an emergency basis under the exemptions, U.S. News reports.

Translators who are temporarily employed, for instance, fall under an "excepted service provision." That gives federal agencies wide flexibility in setting hiring standards based on specific jobs that need to be filled.

"There are flexibilities within the Appropriation Act that would permit, for example, based on language requirements, some exemptions," Tim Olson, the Bureau's associate director for field operations, told U.S. News.

"We are actively working through those flexibilities to see if they can be used in 2020," he added. "We are not there yet."

For the 2010 Census, flexibilities in the law were clearer, allowing the Bureau to hire small numbers of noncitizens, U.S. News reports.

A fraction of the 500,000 people temporarily hired were not U.S. citizens, Olson said.

The Census Bureau's actions come as many experts warn of a severe undercount among hard-to-reach populations amid President Donald Trump's increased crackdown on illegal immigrants and stronger enforcement efforts.

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A legal loophole in federal law could allow the Census Bureau to hire non-U.S. citizens to try to reach certain groups, but officials said Wednesday that illegal immigrants would not be hired, Newsmax's Todd Beamon reports.
census, citizenship, green card, translators
Wednesday, 07 August 2019 05:10 PM
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