Brickbats

Brickbat: We Know Where You Live

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Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota have agreed to provide driver's license information to the Census Bureau to help it determine how many noncitizens are living in the United States. But the data likely won't help the government count the number of undocumented immigrants since all four states require proof someone is a citizen or legally in the country to issue a driver's license.

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  1. Anything to shut the Census Bureau up.

    1. Those clowns come round to my door like clockwork every ten years. Claim I didn’t send in the form. Claim I wasn’t even in the system for the mail report (then why did I get one?). Want me to fill out a new form. I tell them I bet it’s a felony to send in two forms. They say but we didn’t get the first form. They leave a new form. I shred it. They come around again. I ask, isn’t this stuff supposed to be anonymous? Didn’t the Japanese find out it wasn’t? How can you claim I didn’t send it in if it’s anonymous? What happens if I send in two, or three, and you discover it two years from now, do I go to prison because you screwed up and I trusted you? Or do I pay a small fine for each of the two or three forms I sent in which you can’t find but you discover in two years that you asked me to send in?

      1. The census tracks what houses filled in the forms, not the people. And the enumerators are supposed to interview you for the census when they knock at your door, not just ask you to fill out a form. If duplicate data is collected then it will be reconciled at a later date, all standard procedure. It is not a felony to send in another form if asked.

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    5. Since you can be punished for filling it out falsely – as determined by the government – shouldn’t it be sufficient to exercise your right to remain silent.

  2. I’m calling BS on the Census Bureau’s claimed reason for having license information. With that information, it is very easy to match census information to a particular person, when it is supposed to be “anonymous”.

    The data won’t help the government count the number of undocumented immigrants but, it will help Government Almighty intrude further into people’s lives. It would be best for everyone to start lying as much as they can on their census forms, then we’ll find out what the real purpose of having this information is.

    1. I’m as white as the driven snow, and I claim native american on the census. I was born in America, that makes me a native.

      1. Just as my ancestors before me, for time immemorial, and no one of living memory has ever met a forebearer from any other land or nation. Natural born american is how I listed myself on the census form this spring. Has a sort of constitutional ring to it, and avoided possibly (but remotely) messy entanglements should I have checked the native american box.

        1. I checked the “native american” box on some form or another when I was in college. For the next two years my mailbox was overflowing with junk mail I’m assuming I wouldn’t have received otherwise.

    2. The Census is anonymous? The have your address. They ask for the name, age, race and sex of every member of the household. Did you get a different form that only asked for a count?

      1. Mine was labeled “US Constitution, © 1789”. Did you not get one with your owner’s manual? Maybe your parents didn’t save it for you along with the baby book, bronzed baby shoes, etc.

        1. Do you have the unabridged version like John Roberts?

          1. Alas, no. Mine must have been bowdlerized. I better check my social contract too; I bet the ToS allows it to be updated remotely without my knowledge.

            1. Your also bound by the EULA.

        2. I don’t see anything about the census being anonymous in the Constitution. I’m not sure how you could make sure you had counted everyone if it were.

          1. They like to claim it is anonymous. When reminded of using it to send Japanese to camps, they claim all sorts of exceptions to anonymity. They talk of not being released for 50 years, or 99, or something.

            Constitution doesn’t mention being written in Vietnamese either, or saying it has to count toilets.

          2. There are extensive data sets of every potential home address. Of course it doesn’t include homeless encampments and unpermitted subdivisions and farmworker housing. I did the “Census enumerator” job in 2000. We looked for addresses, not individuals. But that is not truly anonymous; a data set of every address with a person of x ancestry is created.

          3. As I point out below, even if it did say the census shall be absolutely anonymous, there’s nothing that prevents other agencies from collecting their own data and deanonymizing significant chunks of the census info.

      2. Yes, but I also recall that the race and sex were optional.

        1. I don’t recall what was optional except that I could provide age instead of date of birth.

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  3. So reason hasn’t heard of subtraction.

    1. My exact thought too. If they’re keeping pace with my 6-yr.-old’s workbook, they get to Venn Diagrams in about 3 weeks.

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  5. Could it be that the Census wants to be able to verify the number of legal non-citizens by cross-checking licenses against census reports?

    Nah. It’s gotta be some evil plan.

    1. You do know that Reason is a libertarian organization, right?

      1. you know that Reason only says it’s a libertarian organization, right? Kinda like how North Korea claims to be a “democratic people’s republic”? The actions of both show the lie.

    2. It won’t give useful data though as there are many more reasons to not have a license than being undocumented

    3. There might be some legitimate reason but that can’t be it. The data they requested will not support the analysis you suggest.

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  7. But the data likely won’t help the government count the number of undocumented immigrants since all four states require proof someone is a citizen or legally in the country to issue a driver’s license.

    It should be remembered that the Census Bureau is only charged with data collection *and sharing*. The Census won’t be able to tell who’s here illegally and who isn’t, but they sure as hell will turn their data over to the ICE, CIS, CBP, FBI, and probably even the NSA and CIA who absolutely will be able to distill out which neighborhoods (e.g.) gained 100K unlicensed and undocumented individuals and which neighborhoods didn’t.

    1. It is illegal for the Census to share data like you describe.

      1. First, I didn’t describe it, I just said they did it and they do, it gets shared with the public they can’t not do it.

        Second, what little I did describe is within the bounds of the law. Just like with any/all other “anonymous” mass surveillance system, they can’t/don’t/won’t tell you about the number of people living in 123 Main St. in Mayberry S.C. but they absolutely can tell you about the number of people living in Mayberry. And if you provided them with the records and get to see the outcome, interpolation is readily feasible.

        You’re running into/generating a (false) information oxymoron whereby the Census works well enough to figure out education, policing, and welfare spending (as advertised) but, somehow, doesn’t work well enough for CBP to (re)combine it with their own data to better understand where illegal immigrants live and work. Either the Census contains usable information or it doesn’t regardless of what The Constitution says.

        1. From the link you posted “By law, the Census Bureau does not return any records to the Department of Homeland Security or any of its components, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement. When the Census Bureau receives the records, they are stripped of any personal identifiable information and are used for statistical purposes only and are strictly protected under Title 13.”

          And it is quite reasonable to believe that the census is accurate enough to count people (which in the grand scheme of things, not that hard), but not good enough to determine immigration status (which is much harder, since the Census does not even ask that question).

          1. And it is quite reasonable to believe that the census is accurate enough to count people (which in the grand scheme of things, not that hard), but not good enough to determine immigration status (which is much harder, since the Census does not even ask that question).

            My fault for not remembering that you’re a blathering retard sooner.

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  9. The census is for purposes of apportion of representation. Federal representatives do not represent aliens, legal or illegal, so as far as I’m concerned no alien should be counted. Aliens have ambassadors and embassies to represent their interests, citizens have representatives.

    1. Census has also been used to appropriate funds and other resources (number of police officers…). So that undocumented family living next door, sends their kid to school, well, the school provides desks, books (do they still use books?) and other accommodations.
      Then there are legal residents (Green card and H1B and students etc.) they require resources as well.
      BTW, drop the Trumpian view of the world. His simplistic approach to everything is hurting the nation for real. The real world has lots of shades of gray.

  10. Typically you can only be punished for KNOWINGLY providing false information. People miss-remember all the time.

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