When you're worried about being deported or imprisoned—as many of Arizona's 2 million Hispanics no doubt are, thanks to new laws that requires police to ask about immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" someone they have stopped, arrested, or detained is here illegally—you're a little less likely to open your door to a stranger with a clipboard who just wants to ask you a couple of questions about your ethnicity:
On May 1 — eight days after the immigration law was signed into law — 635,000 Census workers nationwide started going door-to-door to every home that did not send back the forms. They will return up to six times until they get answers to the 10 questions on the form.
In Arizona, many civic groups fear the new law will discourage cooperation.
"I've talked to friends and people in the community, and they're saying — whatever they think of the law, wherever they stand on the issue: 'I'm not going to open the door to anyone right now,' " says Tucson City Councilor Regina Romero, who represents largely Hispanic neighborhoods.
"People are scared, they're frightened," says Laura Cummings, a Census employee who works with local groups to build community support.
And, just speculating here, but the current plan doesn't sound like a great way to ease those anxieties:
Paul Fimbres, manager of the Tucson office that oversees many counties along the border…. has a contingency plan for areas tough to penetrate: "In case that happens, we blitz," Fimbres says. "We send 15 or 20 people or teams of two or maybe three."
Because the blitz technique is working really well in other areas.
Lots more on Arizona's immigration hullabaloo here.