March 4, 2010 | The New York Times | Original Article

Census Confidentiality Assured

The Justice Department reassured minority leaders in Congress on Thursday that confidential personal information gathered in this year’s census count would not be shared with the Department of Homeland Security or other federal agencies. In a letter, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that no provisions of the 2001 antiterrorism legislation known as the USA Patriot Act override a law that bars census officials from disclosing protected information. Last September, the Congressional minority caucuses asked Justice Department officials to clarify the law, concerned that illegal immigrants would not participate in the count if their identity information could be turned over to immigration agents.