OCTOBER 09, 2009
In an appalling example of government negligence, the U.S. Census Bureau has hired hundreds of serious criminals to enter the homes of unsuspecting Americans to gather statistics for the 2010 count.
The astounding information was made public this week in a detailed congressional report that reveals the troubled bureau failed to adequately conduct mandatory background checks for tens of thousands of census workers, clearing hundreds of violent criminals in the process.
The congressional investigation questioned the U.S. Census Bureau’s readiness to conduct the upcoming decennial count since investigators had previously determined—in a separate probe last year—that severe information technology shortcomings made the 2010 census a high-risk operation. It turns out the agency’s employee screening department is quite lacking as well.
Congressional investigators found that more than 35,000 temporary census workers were hired without the proper criminal background check, which includes fingerprinting. That means that more than one-fifth of the canvassing workforce did not get properly processed or fully screened for employment eligibility, creating an obvious security risk.
More than 200 of those were subsequently determined to have criminal records yet were in constant contact with the public while canvassing for the ongoing 2010 census. Investigators say the criminal record checks were bungled because the bureau’s incompetent staff was poorly trained to conduct them.
This simply marks the latest of several scandals involving the embattled U.S. Census Bureau, which up until recently had a coveted partnership with a fraud-infested community group (ACORN) under criminal investigation nationwide. The bureau’s deputy director (Preston Jay Waite) created a ruckus earlier this year when he demanded federal agents cease immigration raids during the 2010 count so the government can get an accurate tally of people in the country illegally.
A few days ago, the U.S. Census Bureau announced a costly and unprecedented effort to reach illegal immigrants by spending $26 million to send Spanish-language questionnaires directly to homes for the first time in the decennial count’s history. It will mark the first time that the government sends to entire regions census forms in a language other than English.
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