U.S. Census Bureau hiring 8,000 workers in Rio Grande Valley

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This March 23, 2018, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident as part of the nation’s only test run of the 2020 Census. Legal wrangling has surrounded the U.S. census count for decades, culminating in this year’s fight over adding a citizenship question. (AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith, File)

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring 8,000 part-time and full-time temporary workers to help with the 2020 Census in four South Texas counties, Census officials told Border Report.

Interviews are now being conducted for these new positions in Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy and Starr counties. Hourly pay rates begin around $14 in Hidalgo County and $13.50 in the other three counties, depending on work experience.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, 18 or older and have computer skills. Bilingual workers are preferred in South Texas, officials said.

Many of these workers will begin this month, canvassing neighborhoods in South Texas to verify addresses in anticipation of the nationwide Census. Canvassing will run through October.

Census officials told Border Report they want to get the word out that these are official workers and that residents should not be fearful of them or avoid them. This is particularly important in South Texas where many residents are undocumented. But Census officials stressed that the U.S. Constitution mandates a Census every 10 years to count every person in the United States, regardless of citizenship.

The Trump Administration has repeatedly tried to get a citizenship question added to the 2020 Census, but so far these efforts have failed. And Census officials have already begun printing the 10-question questionnaire that will be distributed to households.

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in the afternoon to praise first responders and console family members and survivors from two recent mass shootings. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Still, many Hispanics in South Texas are fearful that if they fill out a form their information will be nefariously used and they could be deported.

Census workers take a lifetime oath to not disclose any information garnered during the Census or to share the information with other government organizations, Census officials told Border Report. And specific details gathered from every Census are not allowed to be released to the public for 72 years after the Census. So that means that information gathered in 2020 won’t be disseminated until the year 2092.

Beginning in January 2020, Census questionnaires will be mailed to residents. Online forms also will be available, and the official Census count day is April 1. After that, workers will go block by block knocking on doors and those Census “enumerators” will come from the field of employees currently being hired.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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