The representative of the Census Bureau in Puerto Rico, Giselle Laffitte, today called for the cooperation of the people now that the 2020 Census enters a crucial phase for Puerto Rico, in which its employees will be going house to house in an effort to count everyone, so that later the necessary funds can be allocated to cover the needs of the population.
As detailed, just a week after the end of the counting of people, Puerto Rico is quite behind , with only a 28% response. However, she was hopeful that now that they are going door to door they can reach 100% responses
“They should let the 2020 Census interviewers do their job. It is mandatory by law and it is very important for all people living in Puerto Rico, for the benefits that will be received in the next 10 years. Benefits of all kinds, from federal funds, from direct services, from employment, from companies, businesses, non-profit organizations that receive money from federal funds to be able to offer their services, ”Laffitte explained.
He reiterated that responding to the census “It is mandatory by law”, and that under the United States Constitution “you have to do a decennial census every ten years, it is mandatory by law.”
“So we have to let the census takers who are going home at home they can interview all those residents to take the information, which is totally confidential, and it is very simple information, "he insisted.
Laffitte clarified that among the 10 questions they ask, nothing is asked related to bank accounts or social security number, but is limited to questions about the characteristics of the population.
“This work is going to be carried out until the end of September, going to all these houses and residences that have not answered do the questionnaire, either online, by phone or by mail with a pre-addressed stamp ”, he explained.
Laffitte anticipated that the participation numbers will begin to increase rapidly in the coming days and assured that“ we are working every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. We have enough employees, we recruit enough employees, and we are constantly training new employees to go throughout Puerto Rico. ”
But to achieve their mission, he insisted, they need everyone's collaboration, and that they not be impeded, or don't welcome the census workers.
“We can do it. But it is very important that people open the door for us. They must let in these federal employees, who have confidentiality, because they cannot, under any circumstances, disclose any information, because it is protected by law, of any person who lives in Puerto Rico ", he stated.
" It is very It is important that people, residents, at the access controls, in the apartments, allow employees to enter ”, he reiterated, adding a call to security guards, communities with controlled access and condominiums to allow access to employees of the census and assist them in their important work.
He commented that employees are taking all security measures to protect themselves and people against COVID-19. He added that all census employees have an identification, with a photo, a tablet with the logo of the Census Bureau that no one has except the census workers.
He maintained that, if the person prefers, they can attend the census taker through a window in your door, on the other side of a gate, or as you feel more comfortable, but that they answer the 10 questions that they will ask.
Laffitte explained that among the questions asked is the name of the person, their telephone number, the date of birth, the physical address of the home, the number of people living in the home, the race, the nationality, the relationship between the people who come in that home, and if the home is rented or own. He clarified that name, telephone number and address are requested in order to verify information if necessary, and that no person is duplicated.
He clarified that no one is asked about immigration status and called all migrants to participate, regardless their status, and that this information “is protected by law and cannot be disclosed to any other agency, federal or state, or the FBI, the police, the Department of Justice, Housing, anyone.”
“They should not fear to participate. This information is actually for the economic and commercial benefit of Puerto Rico and the United States. With this is what is planned, how is it that people … the ages of the people, where they are living, how we can help in economic planning, how we can help so that a prosperous business, a company from anywhere can come to Puerto Rico, can contribute to the economy of Puerto Rico, to get new jobs, because they are going to look at the number of the population and their needs, "he said.
He indicated that this census count also helps large companies plan the possible expansion or establishment of operations somewhere in Puerto Rico.
Laffitte clarified that if the census worker cannot find anyone at the residence, he will return up to three times. He insisted that, in any way, you can respond by calling 1-844-418-2020 and 1-844-426-2020 if you prefer in Spanish; Through the portal my2020census.gov or by regular mail.
In addition, the census has some assistance centers in Plaza Las Américas, Plaza San Patricio, as well as in "almost all" supermarkets Econo and Selectos supermarkets, which are collaborating with the census. In addition, there are assistance centers in each mayor's office throughout the island.
The official also clarified that it is possible that some people who have already responded anyway receive a visit from an employee, because the information may have taken a long time to register, and recommended respond to the census taker anyway.
"So there is no reason not to participate and not be counted, you have many possibilities," Laffitte reiterated. “It is very important that they tell us. They must not be afraid. This is beneficial for all equally, so that our services are offered adequately for the next ten years. Because if they don't count us, there are billions of dollars that we could lose, annually, for the next ten years. ”