Warren’s Assurance Census Won’t Aid ICE Is Unreliable, Illegal Alien Advocates Warn

Undocumented aliens throughout San Bernardino County have been put on special alert by groups advocating on their behalf in the aftermath of comments by Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren that were interpreted as a signal that federal census workers who will be tallying the number of residents living in the Inland Empire in 2020 will utilize the access they will have into all corners of the community to alert the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency of their whereabouts.
The U.S. Census is conducted every ten years by the United States Census Bureau, a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. The census provides data relating to the American people and the nation’s economy.  Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are allocated to the 50 states based on the population figures produced in the census, and the bureau’s various survey statistics are used in the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds yearly to the states and local governmental entities. Relevant statistics provided by the census inform decisions on where, to what standards and to what scale to build and maintain schools, hospitals, transportation infrastructure, and police and fire departments.
The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the president of the United States.
President Donald Trump prior to taking office in 2017 and since has advocated an aggressive effort to maintain border security and round up foreign nationals who are in the United States illegally or otherwise in defiance of U.S. immigration laws and policies.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is the branch of the federal government principally responsible for immigration enforcement, with additional responsibilities in countering transnational crime. While many states and local agencies including California and some of the cities within it have adopted a policy of noncooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, President Trump has issued an edict requiring that all arms of the federal government cooperate with each other in carrying out their various missions, and that order extends to assisting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency in its operations aimed at collaring illegal immigrants. When word of that policy reached the public, concern was expressed that it would result in various segments of the population within the United States eluding, hiding from or otherwise evading census takers in the upcoming 2020 Census. Consequently, the Trump administration issued a statement in which it said census workers will not seek out information from census respondents about their immigration status. While that statement may be true in so far as it goes, there has been no order from on high in the Trump Administration rescinding the order that all federal employees, including those employed with the Census Bureau, further the goals of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. There remains widespread fear in immigrant communities, most pointedly among those who are undocumented, that their interaction with census takers will result in information about them being provided to federal immigration officials.
In recent weeks, Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren entered the fray. In an effort to prompt the cooperation of the entirety of Fontana’s citizenry in cooperating with census takers, she encouraged all Fontana residents to interact freely with census takers and provide them with the full range of information contained on the census surveys. When she was directly questioned about the concern that many Fontana residents have that cooperating with the census workers could leave them vulnerable to follow-up action by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, Warren acknowledged that some people may have that concern but that participating in the census survey should not result in anyone being carted off by immigration officials.
For some, the manner in which Warren handled the question came off as too glib, and they interpreted what she said as a confirmation that for those who are not in this country legally the census takers will be wolves dressed up as sheep. For starters, Warren blurred the distinction between federal and city officials, in what some saw as an effort to mislead the public into thinking the census takers work for the city rather than the U.S. Government.
“The important thing to remember is we’re not immigration officials,” Warren said, while calling upon Fontana residents to help the city get as full of a counting of its residents as is possible.
This brought an immediate reaction from pro-immigration activists, who pointed out that Warren is a close Donald Trump associate and supporter, who has traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with him personally.
Indeed, Warren, who is assumed by some to be a Democrat, is actually a Republican who has endorsed Trump, was endorsed by him, and who is on a first name basis with him, having exchanged with him numerous phone calls, text messages emails and letters.
The most recently available demographic data relating to Fontana indicate 68.7 percent of the city’s 214,000-plus population is Hispanic or Latino. Estimates are that in excess of 11,000 of the city’s residents (5.14 percent) are undocumented.

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