Yesterday I talked about how the President of the United State Donald J. Trump has abused his power as president to remove key people from various government departments and replace them with people loyal to him. I was going to complete the article with my believe that Trump will find a way to take control of the last two department left, the Census Bureau and the Pentagon to complete his transformation to rule over the entire US. But before I could do that, I needed to provide you with a brief history of the US Census and the laws in the constitution that safeguards information. It will help you understand the steps that Trump would have to go through to obtain information.
The decennial US Census figures are based on actual counts of persons dwelling in US residential structures. They include citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors and undocumented immigrants. The Census Bureau bases its decision about whom to count on the concept of usual residence. Usual residence, a principle established by the Census Act of 1790, is defined as the place a person lives and sleeps most of the time.
Certain American citizens living overseas are specifically excluded from being counted in the census even thought they may vote. Only Americans living abroad who are "Federal employees (military and civilian) and their dependents living overseas with them are counted. Private US citizens living abroad who are not affiliated with the Federal government (either as employees or their dependents will not be included in the overseas count. These overseas counts are used solely for reapportioning seats in the US House of Representatives.
Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution which states: "Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned amount the several states according to their respective numbers. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten years. Section 2 of the 14th Amendment amended Article 1, Section 2 to include that the respective numbers of the several states will be determined by counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indian not taxed.
The confidentiality of the census is very important and the data that is collected are used in aggregate for statistical purpose. By law, no one, neither the census takers nor any other Census Bureau employee is permitted to reveal identifiable information about any person, household, or business. By law, individual census records are sealed for 72 years. Aggregate and statistical census data are released when available. Information from the census falling into the wrong hands can have devastating consequences like the examples stated below.
President Roosevelt ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to obtain the primary census records and compiled the Custodial Detention Index on citizens, enemy aliens, and foreign nationals. The Second War Powers Act of 1941 repealed the legal protection of confidential census data, which was not restored until 1941. This information facilitated the internment of Japanese-Americans following the Japanese attack on the US at Pearl Harbor, and the internment of Italian and German-Americans following the United States entry into World War II.
In 1980, four FBI agents went to the Census Bureau's Colorado Springs office with warrants to seize Census documents, but were forced to leave with nothing. Courts upheld that no agency, including the FBI, has access to Census data. Part 3 will complete this three-part series about the Pentagon and Census Bureau Departments.