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Fear of census common for immigrants in R.I.

Updated: Dec 2, 2021


By Kevin G. Andrade

Journal Staff Writer


Test count reveals they are suspicious in Trump era of anti-immigrant policies

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Omar Bah had sequestered himself on the back porch of a relative’s home, all the better to work on his doctoral dissertation, when he heard three hard knocks on the door.

“They knocked on the door, very hard, like a police knock,” said Bah, an immigrant from The Gambia and executive director of Providence’s Refugee Dream Center.

The 38-year-old strained to hear as an elderly relative answered the door. The visitors identified themselves as enumerators working on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 End-to-End Test, when the test census examines how well the count’s technologies and activities function as a whole. She refused several times to participate.

Finally, Bah recalled, they left. She shut the home’s doors and curtains.

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