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I have received a few letters/forms by snail mail asking for my response to a census. The letter noted that it would help the policy making and identification of resources because I was careful picked for the census.

I am concerned about this in the light of the current political situation in the US:

  1. Could this be seeking information in ways that are unprecedented and so would I open myself up to scrutiny?
  2. I am in the country legally and never overstayed my visa, so I really have nothing to worry about. That said, the current administration has been in the new for coming up with creative ways to get out information. So would my taking the census impact another person who may have other reasons to not taking the census? For ex: If everyone in a group of 10 is asked if they committed a theft and 9 respond yes/no but one refuses to respond, that person could be thought to have something to hide. Whereas in solidarity, if all 10 refuse to answer, then the investigator has to work extra hard to narrow down the culprit.
  3. In all, is this a matter of choice or an obligation; to take the census mailed to me?
  • Doesn't the letter indicate that your response is required by law? – phoog Sep 23 at 13:23
  • @phoog - it doesn't. At best, Your individual response is critical to the success of this survey and provides valuable information to your community and your country. It is a request to participate in the survey. – perennial_noob Sep 23 at 16:52
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    Is it in fact from the US census bureau, or is it just trying to seem like it is? – phoog Sep 23 at 16:55

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