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Federal officials visit Delaware to urge complete participation in 2020 Census

Sarah Mueller
Sen. Tom Carper, U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall Long

Census officials visited Georgetown Monday to emphasize the importance of everyone participating in the 2020 Census.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham joined Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall Long (D) to remind Delawareans about the upcoming population count.

Census data determines how many representatives states get in Congress and federal agencies use the data when distributing more than $675 billion every year. Carper said Delaware could lose 2,000 dollars for every person not counted.

The Trump administration’s immigration policies and its failed push to add a citizenship question to the Census have fueled concern fewer immigrants and minorities may participate - leading to an undercount.

Dillingham said the data is only compiled for statistical use.

“No personally-identifiable information will be shared with anyone, local law enforcement, federal law enforcement, not any other federal agency,” he said.

Fernando Armstrong is the U.S Census Bureau’s Philadelphia regional director. He is also an immigrant and said he will meet with Delaware’s Latino population to assure them their information stays confidential.

“The fact that we respect people’s privacy, that we protect people’s privacy, that has not changed and will not change," he said. "So I want to make sure that we get that message out there.”

Delaware census coordinators say they plan to meet with individuals and members of the community, like pastors and social workers, to earn trust.

This is the first census where people are able to respond online as well as by phone and mail.

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