tv 2020 Census CSPAN April 23, 2018 3:05pm-3:53pm EDT
chair lays before the house an additional communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, this is to notify you formally pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the house of representatives that i have been served with a subpoena for testimony as a witness in a criminal trial issued by the superior court of the state of california, county of san mateo. after consultation with the office of general counsel, i have determined that compliance with the subpoena is consistent with the privileges and rights of the house. signed sincerely, brian perkins, district director. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the house stands adjourned until noon tom
have accurate data? citizenship population if we want to have been in want debate about it and come up with revenue, and finally, what i know will surely make opponents of the administration adding this question, grind their teeth, is the trump administration is following recommendations made by the united nations.
you will get principles and recommendations for populations, they demandedfind citizenship question on census australianging from to germany to indonesia, all asking this question, only in the u.s. is this considered at all controversial, and it shouldn't need. thanks. >> thank you i suspect he will get some disagreement on our next panelist. >> typically one of the problems of speaking last is there is not much left to say. provide enough segue to a contrasting view. i am concerned about the impact the citizenship question will have on response rates. it is the case that we currently ask about citizenship on the current survey and it is the case that the american community survey is a much less salient exercise in data collection than
the census. the census bureau has found people inhat immigrant and minority communities today are concerned about the 2020 census. in a way they are not concerned about the american community survey. and the reasons for that are easy enough to figure out, i think here at first, the census is a major undertaking. you knock on every door and count every person. government takes a lot of money out to advertise the exercise in order to get people to comply with the survey. it is something that people notice. people pay much less attention to the american community survey and they should pay less attention. map what happens with the american community survey onto what have with the senses and to expect that people
will respond in the same way. conduction --e in conducting tests for the census, the bureau has found members of immigrant and minority communities are concerned about the census at all. this was before there was a decision made. even apart from whether or not they have a citizenship question, the bureau found that members of minority communities are concerned about answering the 2020 consensus at all. reasons for that are not terribly hard to understand. there have been a lot -- there has been a lot of anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from washington, the president of the united states, both after he took office and when he was a presidential candidate. there has been a contentious debate about immigration for sure.
of dreamers led to a in somehere people immigrant and minority communities are concerned about answering questions in general. it is reasonable based on the to conclude that they will be even more reticent to answering a government form that asks about the citizenship status. that?ould we care about an important reason is if people ae less likely to answer question, the cost of the census goes way up. the bureau does not have a choice about whether or not it attempts to enumerate the population. if you do not answer the online fill up the do not forum, the census bureau does not just say, ok, we will try our last.
ok, people slam the door, the bureau doesn't say ok, well we try our best. if you won't answer the questions, they will ask your neighbor. sending human beings costs money. if you want to keep these costs in control, we should not putting questions on the census that will make it more necessary to send more people to gather the information in person. accuracyffects the which has ripple effects for the next 10 years. the senses will be used to benchmark the current population survey, other demographic and economic surveys for years and years. small errors in the
benchmarking will be with us for a decade and those compound over time. very important decisions are those data sources, decisions about interest rates. if the federal reserve looks at the current population survey and it missed measures unemployment a little bit and the fed titans a little too fast, or the fed titans too long, billions of dollars are at stake. if social security, which adjusts payments based on inflation, if those inflation measures are off a little bit, billions and billions of dollars are at stake. on data torely decide where to open distribution centers and decide what items to put on store shelves and make all sorts of critical can -- decisions.
if the data we rely on our little inaccurate, those costs compound over time. -- when you consider how long we have delivered it. those are the costs of potentially including the question is what is the benefit? i do not see much of one at all. we have valid information on citizenship that comes from other less visible data sources. we have been able to rely on that for decades and decades. so to me there's no clear reason to do this, and when you have a proposition where there's very little, if any, benefit in significant costs that says we shouldn't do that particular thing.
so, my hope is that congress intervenes and keeps that question off the decennial, and i think it would be better for business and better for policymakers if -- ultimately better for taxpayers if that ends up being the case. >> thank you, mike. and john and diane, i want you to jump in. first, a few questions for hans. how do you respond to mike's points bat the sillens of the ecs versus the census, the cast, accuracy and benefit> -- benefit? >> the problem withi the acs is that it only goes to one of 38 households and they do estimating, and extrapolating to fig out how it applies to the rest of the country. that causes problem in, for example, enforce0. -- enforcing the voting rights act and i know mountain that because i worked the justice department enforcing the voting right act. if you're enforcing section 2 of
the voting rights action, which prevents and prohibits racial discrimination in voting, and you are, for example, filing a lawsuit against a state or a county or city, claiming they have diluted the vote by the way they have packed the particular districts, and you are suing on behalf of, say, hispanic voters ex-if you're coming one with a remedy, the remedy is to come if with a district in which minority voters can elect their candidate of choice. the way you do that is you have to ensure, for example, if you're suing on behalf of hispanic voters, when you create a district for them, they have at least 50% plus one of the population in that district so they can elect their candidates of choice. and you only have a citizenship rate of 60%, putting in a 60% hispanic population won't give you majority of hispanic voters.
it is essential to have citizenship data and the cs -- acs, because it goes to limit number of house hold, doesn't give you enough data. you can look at u.s. supreme court decision where this was an issue, and the supreme court talked about the lack of data in this area on this. a census question will bet us that for the whole country, and i respeed what the commerce depth said which is there's no empirical evidence this will cause downturn in the response rate, and if it did we would know about it from the acs, and and they've produced no such data. >> dianne, john? >> i would like to make a couple points. one, the theory behind the acs
-- it was replacing the long form because it was going produce more accurate data than the long form. so the acs has two products. one product that comes 0 out every year and another product that comes out on an average over five years. misusing the term average probably but you can think of it as a five-year anka that produces data for small areas, that have the same level of accuracy as the census long form, so the american community survey flies data that is the same quality for citizenship that we have observed since 1950. we have been able to do that. i thing i will stop -- think i will stop there. dianne: i think my primary concern is about the accuracy of the census overall and that it sounds like hans disagrees
whether this will drive up costs but there's this -- this add significant risk. i'm persuaded by michael's arguments that this will probably either reduce the accuracy of the census or drive up the cost, and i think the benefit of what we get, over and above the acs,s quite small. mike: well, i don't think i have much more to add. i do think it's -- again, just to repeat myself. very difficult to compare with eth acs survey to the decennial survey. not everybody knows the acs happens. everybody knows the decennial survey happens. the u.s. bureau does not spend
thousands of dollarses to help in compliance on the acs as the same way with the decennial census. bureau found that community leaders in some cases, are telling people in their communities not to answer the decennial census because of some of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been coming from the administration and the president, and coming from washington generally. that does not happen with the
american communities survey. the american communities survey gives us the information that we need to do things like enforce the voting rights act articulation american community service question's citizenship is as accurate as the previous question that was asked once every ten years, on citizenship, before the american communities survey was adopted. so we're not luigs anything by way of accuracy. the short, simple ten or so questions decennial census has not included a question on citizenship for decades and we have been fine in enforcing -- well, maybe not fine but we have not needed to add a citizenship way -- question to the short form tone force the voting rights act. >> we have some pretty profound
disagreement and probably have some questions from the audience but the citizenship question. i'd like to turn to john now to ask just about how some of the kinds of questions they census has been asking over time have einvolved in terms of the complex sis we have in this society today. the multiple languages, complex living arrangements. mobile population. how was the census coping when you were there and how are we coping today? you were there and how are we coping today? >> i think you're hitting on something that every statistical agency and every company that produces data is facing, that is, our population is becoming much more diverse, much more complex to measure, and so you have seen an emergence of a variety of techniques to reach out in new ways to individual us. you've also seen questions that have evolved more to measure the population. so, for example, the census relationship way now asks questions upon same-sex marriage or same-sex partners, and didn't before. so it's -- you see an evolution of the questions we ask that parallels our society. >> dianne? dianne: mostly back on -- that makes everything more expensive. we have to think about how to measure this, test how to measure it, et cetera, et cetera. so in order to stay accurate we need to make the wise investments. >> john, can you tell us bowow -- about how it actually
happens? it seems a little like mounting an army every 10 years. how many people are involved? john: so, i think the peak right now the census bureau is looking at hiring somewhere between 300 and 500,000 temporary workers in 2020 to collect the information from those that don't self-respond, and they'll have a -- set up 250 temporary offices to manage those people from. so it's a -- and they have to set up the information technology and the infrastructure to manage that kind of operation. >> how many languages? >> so, i'm not -- when i left they were looking at having the questionnaire in five languages, and they'll provide assistance up to probably 100 languages that they need. so they're very attuned to the languages of our population.
00:36:08 that's impressive. -- >> that's impressive. we certainly heard a lot last week when mr. zuckerberg testified but information security. how concerned should meshes be by that privacy and information security in the census? you're the point man here, john. john: i know the census bureau, when i was there, and still are, that information security is their top priority in terms of building systems. so, they do -- they work with experts in the field. they work with the department of homeland security, with the national institutes of science and technology, private sector companies, and before any system is implemented, it has to undergo some very serious testing, including penetration testing by an outside person.
that being said, in the world of cyber security you can never stop being worried. you also have to be working very, very hard at that. so, i fell comfortable that the census bureau was addressing the cyber challenges but something you can't stop doing. >> other comments on this point? >> one thing i would point out is that throughout our history the census bureau has been very good in keeping the information confidential with one very big exception. the very big exception i'm sure people know about is the fact that franklin roosevelt, in essence, ignored the law and they used census data during world war ii to locate japanese-americans and to go after them. that was a violation of the law
and shouldn't have happened but it did. that's the only real example. significant example of census breaking the federal rules about confidentiality of census data. >> in my world of survey research, we worry a loud about declining response rates, and the wonderful work done by the pew research center shows that, for example, about 20 years ago we had 36% average response rate for public offend surveys. that's now down to -- public opinion surveys. now down to 27%, and i wonder if you could give us clues how the response rate has declined. john, we turn to you first. john: the self-response rates have dropped off. going back to 1970, the self-response rates were in the high 70s. in the more modern times, 199, 0, 2000, 2010. the response rates were more in the 60 to 65 percentile range. >> we would love that in the survey world. john: but if you look at some surveys like the current population survey, one of the highest voluntary response rates surveys that the federal government conducts, you can see a steady dropoff in response since 2010, and it's been a real
problem for the census bureau. they're working very hard to address it, but it's just getting harder and harder to convince people to respond. >> you have taken surveys about why people aren't responding, and, dianne, you can weigh in here, too. i. dianne: i want to make sure that everyone understands when we do public opinion surveyed or the current population survey you have to have a benchmark to compare the response and nonresponse. that benchmark is the united states census, which is critically important we get an accurate census in the year 2020. this measuring stick that out of these other surveys are measured against and adjusted for, when there's nonresponse, when there's sampling sampling and nonsampling errors. so all the more reason to make sure this conducts to the level we need.
i might mention, because this often surprise members of the public and surprised me. i often actually get calls people who are upsetut the americ cnity survey a not upset but the citizship question. they're concerned about thank you details income questions. most people don't like the idea to tell the government what their income us.
what i -- you al should know is there's actually a first statute that makes it a crime for you to refuse to answer a census. you can be fined up to $500. some people might think that's worth it to not have to answer the questions but fined $500 and there's some reported cases, most of them very old, where people were prosecuted by the justice department for refusing to answer the census. so, that is always an option the government has. just have not exercised that option very often. >> we have i think 15 minutes left today and i think it's time to turn to your questions. please identify yourself and ask a question. start over here and please wait for a microphone. >> hi, andrew from george washington university. john, my understanding is that the secretaries announcement of what is on the questionnaire is really the -- it's his proposal and there's a process now of census -- submitting to the office of management and budget, omb, through the paperwork reduction act has to approve the 2020 census as it approves every fed survey, and i think we should see that announce ment in a couple of weeks and
the public has 60 days to tell census what it thinks of this design, and then census submits it to omb and ten the public gets another opportunity later in the year. can you describe the process and ombs power to decide what goes on the survey form. that is for you. for hans, i think you said two things that are incorrect. one is that what the census did in 1940 was legal. there was a law that was passed that allowed the. data allowed them to do it. it.- allowed them to do it may have ben morally wrong but is was legal. and the fine for not answering the census is 500 bucks for lying, it's up to $5,000 because in the 1980's, congress passed crime control legislation that overrode statutes that were specific to individual agencies. so if grew token cuss web site -- so if you go to the census website, it says people can we -- be fined up to $5,000. the third thing hans -- sorry --
i'll be done -- is that there is actually a census broke bought -- fraud evidence evidence regarding recent, as in the past year, fear's respondent dozen response to answering the citizenship question. so there was a presentation wito answering the citizenship question. so there was a presentation with descriptions in great detail, raised to the level of alarm among census staff, that people were lying, people were walking out of the room, people were visibly sweating and this was not mentioned by the secretary. so, the census internally has seen evidence of -- compared of three years ago of a change of people's attitude regarding the citizenship question. can you responsible? -- can you respond? john: i will go first. andrew, the paperwork reduction act requires every election be
approved by office of regulatory affairs and the budget. so the census eurojohn: i will . will put out the questionnaire for public comment which they will use in 2020. i believe sometime around september and october, the whole package will go to the office of regulatory affairs. they can disprove any questions on there and they will have documentations as to why the questions are important. that is the next step in the process. >> on the process question, i want to answer by mentioning, you know more than a dozen states have sued the government over to the citizenship question.
i think those are doomed to fail. the reason is if you look at the constitution and what is given to the federal government and not the states, the federal government has delegated and -- delegatedtutes their specific statute that gives the commerce secretary the power to, quote, determine the inquiries on the census form. so the states don't have any say in this which and their claims are without merit. you talk about an neck toll to evidence. there's no -- anecdotal evidence. there's no empire tall evidence. the nielsen center says they've seen in reduction in response rate and again, i've said this more than once and repeat it, the census bureau sends out the acs all the time with a citizenship question on it, and if it had any empirical evidence the citizenship reduced the response, and they didn't. >> question from the side of
response, and they didn't. the room at all? or right here. please. ok, thank you. >> thank you. i just wanted to ask a question, trying to find if the census, knowing what has happened with the election meddling and what happened on facebook, have you go ahead and open a window that will try to prevent what could be happening in this census bureau? could it be some kind of external meddling in the census? knowing what is happening now. >> john or dianne, is the census prepared for this possibility?
john: so, i think part of the issue for the census bureau is anytime they're a breach of public confidence, it falls on all of the different agencies us collecting data, including the census bureau. so the census bureau has a heard job in communicating, which they will, the data they have is confidential and they have processes in place to protect the integrity of the dat dark but every time something like that happens, it makes it harder and harder to get the message out. >> dianne? dianne: i think similar answer, which is that we need to make she's investments in technology to make the whole thing more productive, but alongside that we need make shower we're doing everything we can to secure the data, especially online. the census bureau has a terrific track report historically in terms of confidentiality extremely seriously, data security extremely seriously,
and we need to get somebody who is an expert in those specific things to testify to that. but i have confidence in the bureau. >> a question over here and then over here, we good to that one -- we go to that one in the corner first and then to you. please identify yourself. >> correspondent for the hispanic outlook. two questions about -- it seems loosey-goosey stuff houston census. the one this number of lat teen in the community, hispanics, -- latino in the community, hispanics, which are not a race, recognized by the census bureau so how do they come to this? i understand it is just by last like but you get someone congressman creighto says he gets -- all the time. how do they determine that the hispanic community, and the
latino vote, and along with that is for a long time they said they could not estimate the numbers of illegal immigrants in the country, but suddenly we get this number in concrete, 11 million. that has not changed despite so-called record numbers of deportation. how do they arrive at that? >> john? john: i can adjust the hispanic question. right now, the census asks two questions. the first question asks about hispanic origin, and the second question -- it has different categories to check. and the second question asks>> ? about race. part of the issue that the census bureau had been dressing -- addressing over the decade was understanding some of the issues associated with an "other race" category and hispanics was -- would sometimes marked that -- mark that category.
they had done some significant research on combining the two questions together. they concluded that was the optimum way to ask about racial ethnicity. however they have not been able to implement that combined question technology because you -- because the office of management and budget has not changed the 1997 standards on race and ethnicity that requires two questions. >> it's self-reported and nobody is looking at last names. they are asking people how you identify -- [inaudible question] >> it's how anybody chooses to answer the question. it's self-responding. it's how individuals choose to answer the questions. [inaudible question] the census bureau, win through, -- when i was there, estimating
wasn't -- wasn't estimating the illegal population so i'd have to defer to my colleague. >> that number comes from the department of homeland security and i'm not sure how they come up with the number. >> question here in the middle. please identify yourself. >> karen. my question is i think i heard you said there's going to be an electronic distribution of the census? is that correct? >> online. >> online. >> the census bureau will send out an invitation by mail to respond over the internet. they're not going to send e-mails to people saying, respond. >> thank you for that clarification. what intrigues me is there's so much focus on this legal/illegal question versus the fact that not everyone is electronically
literate and that cuts across a lot of population, aging, you know, poor, people who don't have access to computers, et cetera. i would think that in this day and age would have an even bigger impact on response rate and the skewing of responses. >> so, let me just say a little something about that. the census bureau will mail out -- they have two ways they invite people to respond. one is called internet first, which you get a letter or post -- where you get a letter or post card that says please respond by the internet. and at some point in the process, if people don't respond, they will get a paper questionnaire. but it was internet first. the second method is called
internet choice and they identify areas in the country, using the american community survey and other data, where they believe that most people would rather respond by paper, and for those areas they mail out a questionnaire. about 20% of households in the united states will get a questionnaire the mail and then have a chance, either respond by the internet or fill out the paper questionnaire, and if they want to call in they can call in and give their interview of the telephone. this the first for the 2020 census. >> i get all of that. from a research standpoint, everyone in this room probably is electronically savvy. i would be concerned that the response rate among certain populations will be here us -- higher because we'll just good tower computers and -- to our computers and respond, and other people -- i understand they have other options, but this is quick.
>> absolutely. so i think there's one reason why the end-to-end test is very important so we are understand before we field the full 2020 census, who is going on to respond and who is not, and what cases do we need to send the 300,000 to 500,000 enumerators to the home to people people -- to help people respond? in order to make this step forward, which i think is needed for financial reasons, and to modernize the census, we need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the new approach but we only have one and should have had three. >> there's a question in the back here. >> my question is for hans. in your opinion what is the effect of having the citizenship question -- i'm think about the, california, they implement policies to attract population of illegal immigrants versus
alabama, let's say, when if you count all of that illegal immigrant population in california, that will give california more seats in congress and more vote in electoral college. what is your opinion about the situation? our state will lose representation with higher citizen population. >> that happens anyway. apportionment is based on total population. i want to remind everyone that it asks, are you a citizen? does not ask whether you're it asks, are you a citizen? does not ask whether you're legal or illegal. because the census opportunities -- counts total population, and apportions are done without total population, because apportionment is done on a total population, it means states with large numbers of aliens who are here illegally actually get more congressional seats.
a number of studies have been done. one of the last ones i saw had an estimate that california has between five and six extra congressional seats because of the large illegal population. and texas is estimated to have two. apportionsthat if the apportions based only on citizenship there are some states based only on citizenship there are some states that if the apportionment was based only on citizenship population, they would get additional seats which they are not getting right now. that's not going change because you have citizenship question on here. that would only change if the law -- you might have to have a constitutional amendment governing apportionment was changed. >>anit's important to be clear t that last point. the constitution is clear that congressional -- the apportionment of seats in the house to several states is not determined by citizenship. the constitution is clear that
it's determine by the number of people living there. knowing with more presomethings -- precision the number of citizens in each state does not affect how many house seats each states get, which is another reason not to include it, in my opinion. >> the question appear and then one final question in the back. right here in front. >> hi, there. i struggle with a little bit of a chicken and egg problem when it comes to the citizenship question and responses. of course there's a level of fear in the immigrant community right now just generally of the government, and we know from a while now that immigrants of one -- are one of the undercounted populations in every census, and that a census automatically says, we have an undercount and
figure out how much it is every year but seems to me the more we talk about the concern but this, the more people might get scared. so you have this chicken and egg where, as everybody talks but how scared people for respond, people would be more scared to respond. in past years there have been effort biz immigrant advocacy organizations to encourage -- by immigrant advocacy organizations to encourage responses so the census, recognizing the law says it cannot be used trying to advertise that. and so one question i have for mr. thompson and others is, how does the census work with other organizations to support response to the census, trying to alleviate fears, and how can we sort of balance, if this is going to happen, there's still valid reason to have everybody counted. for every reason you have said. how can we encourage more responses in this age of fear? >> sure. so, since the 2000 census, the census bureau started a program
of paid advertising combined with partnership and hire individuals to work in local communities and local governments and local places and local leaders and get local voices to talk about the importance of the census and confidentiality of the census. i believe in the last census they had approximately 250,000 partners nationally to seek to help them get the word out about the importance of the census. so they're going to do their the best 2020 to form as many -- best in 2020 to form as many partnerships as they can. the issue with the citizenship question is that it might make it harder for them to get the word out about the confidentiality of the census. >> question in the back. you have the final question, sir. >> good afternoon. my name is todd.
i wanted to ask if we could end with a happy note. i don't really believe that most of what is collected in the sun -- the census is accurate because it's based on voluntary response. so you have to skew that. it is kind of like advertising. so, where is the census most accurately and ideally connected? -- collected? what country in the planet does the best job of getting accurate information and has the best incentives for people to answer accurately, and how does that work and can we repeat that here? so, i don't even know -- i don't know if there is an answer. may not be knowable. my first thought after hearing your question, which is a good one, i think, is to point our
how simple and sparse the decennial census is. it's very basic questions. how many people live in the household, how old, what races, ethnicity. again, is an argument against putting controversial questions on there. and that is likely collected quite accurately, but some of the hard to reach groups, who live in rural areas, members of immigrant and minority communities, the elderly, people the hard to reach groups, who live in rural areas, members of who live in what census calls group quarters like college dorms, that sort of stuff, and that highlights the need of the census bureau to be adequately funded in the runup to the 2020 census because the money needs to be spent today so when
it comes time to send out the questionnaires and enumerators to knock on doors, that people know how to get to those hard to reach communities and how to get to people who are less likely to answer, and get an accurate response from them. >> we've covered an enormous amount of ground in a short period only of time. period of time. we want this project to be an enormous success and that's what panelists are committed to. i am reminded of the fact that both thomas jefferson and george washington thought there was an undercount. andk you so much for coming thank you to our panelists. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
virginia announced he will support the nomination, one of 14 democrats who voted in favor of the nomination as cia director. also, the indiana democrat joe donnelly confirmed he will vote to confirm on the senate floor. life coverage begins at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and you can watch online at c-span.org or listen with the c-span radio app. >> tonight, on landmark cases, independent community school district, a case about student free speech. in 1965, five students wore black armbands to still -- to school to protest the vietnam war, violating school policy. the siblings challenge the school board's free speech restrictions and the resulting supreme court decision established that the students keep -- keep their first amendment rights on school grounds. our guest to -- guests are mary
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