[Constitution Article 1, Section 2 -- calls for enumeration; Article 1 Section 9 -- refers to census]
In the past, the Census “long form” and ACS were separate. The ACS has historically been optional
(though highly pushed). During the 10-year Census taking, however, this longer version now becomes mandatory.
Many have expressed concern about the collection, use, privacy, and non-compliance penalties regarding the Census process and data. The Census Bureau states that the information is private, but also notes that is used by various agencies and organizations such as, but not limited to, HUD, Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor Department, and Military and Veterans Affairs.
Be aware of the changes in 2010 when it comes to non-compliance and the various forms. There are potential fines involved. Fines for providing false information appear to be generally greater than for not complying.
The following are a few legalese excerpts taken directly from the federal laws governing the 2010 Census:
TITLE 13 - CENSUS
§ 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers
(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age,
refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by
the Secretary, or by any other authorized officeror employee of the Department of Commerce or
bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructionsof the Secretary or authorized officer,
to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any ofthe questions on any schedule submitted to him
in connection with any census or survey providedfor by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter
5 of this title, applying to himself or to thefamily to which he belongs or is related, or toT
the farm or farms of which he or his family isthe occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.
(b) Whoever, when answering questions describedin subsection (a) of this section, and
under the conditions or circumstances describedin such subsection, willfully gives any answer
that is false, shall be fined not more than $500.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision ofthis title, no person shall be compelled to disclose
information relative to his religious beliefsor to membership in a religious body.
§ 223. Refusal, by owners, proprietors, etc., to assistcensus employees
Whoever, being the owner, proprietor, manager,superintendent, or agent of any hotel,
apartment house, boarding or lodging house,tenement, or other building, refuses or willfully
neglects, when requested by the Secretary or byany other officer or employee of the Department
of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, actingunder the instructions of the Secretary, to
furnish the names of the occupants of suchpremises, or to give free ingress thereto and
egress therefrom to any duly accredited representativeof such Department or bureau or
agency thereof, so as to permit the collection ofstatistics with respect to any census provided
for in subchapters I and II of chapter 5 of thistitle, or any survey authorized by subchapter IV
or V of such chapter insofar as such survey relatesto any of the subjects for which censuses
are provided by such subchapters I and II, including,when relevant to the census or survey
being taken or made, the proper and correctenumeration of all persons having their usual
place of abode in such premises, shall be finednot more than $500.
§ 224. Failure to answer questions affecting companies,businesses, religious bodies, and
other organizations; false answers
Whoever, being the owner, official, agent, personin charge, or assistant to the person in
charge, of any company, business, institution,establishment, religious body, or organization of
any nature whatsoever, neglects or refuses,when requested by the Secretary or other authorized
officer or employee of the Departmentof Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, to answer
completely and correctly to the best of hisknowledge all questions relating to his company,
business, institution, establishment, religiousbody, or other organization, or to records
or statistics in his official custody, contained onany census or other schedule or questionnaire
prepared and submitted to him under the authorityof this title, shall be fined not more than
$500; and if he willfully gives a false answer toany such question, he shall be fined not more
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