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Bachmann Lies About Census’ American Community Survey, Claims It Doesn’t Ask About Citizenship

By Matt Corley  

"Bachmann Lies About Census’ American Community Survey, Claims It Doesn’t Ask About Citizenship"

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As ThinkProgress has previously noted, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has been fearmongering about the 2010 Census and bragging that she plans to break the law by refusing to answer it. “I know for my family, the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home. We won’t be answering any information beyond that,” said Bachmann recently.

On Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday, Bachmann continued to attack the Census, repeatedly insisting that people should go to her website to “see the Census form for themselves.” Listing off a few questions from the American Community Survey (a long-form survey sent out to one in 40 households each year) that she considers invasive, Bachmann claimed that it doesn’t ask “are you an American citizen”:

BACHMANN: Twenty-eight pages. Sean, you know the one question they don’t ask? They don’t ask, “are you an American citizen?” They don’t ask if you’re here on a visa or when it expires. We have no real idea how many illegal aliens are in our country. But wouldn’t you think, here they are asking every personal question about our lives, they could at least ask if we’re an American citizen? They don’t bother to ask for that. That’s why I think people need to read this census for themselves. If you go to my website, michelebachmann, you can read it.

Listen here:

In fact, the American Community Survey does ask about U.S. citizenship and it has since 1890:

American Community Survey question about citizenship

Additionally, though Bachmann repeatedly directed Hannity’s listeners to her website, michelebachmnann.com, in order to view the Census questions, the questions aren’t actually available on her website. A press release on her congressional website, however, does encourage citizens to read the Census and ACS questions. Apparently Bachmann has yet to take her own advice.

Transcript:

HANNITY: And Congresswoman, credit to you. I mean, you’re out there and you’ve become a target by the Democrats because of your outspokenness and your willingness to take on the administration. A lot of press was made over the fact that you said, “well, I’m only going to give pertinent constitutional information as it relates to the census.” What’s the status on that?

BACHMANN: Well, the Democrats are trying to make a lot out of this because at my website, Michelebachmann.com, I’ve invited people from all over the United States to come and sign the ACORN petition to get ACORN out of conducting the census. And then I’ve also stated that as for my family and myself, we are not comfortable telling the administration every intricate detail of our life. If a person goes to my website at michelebachmann.com, they can see the census form for themselves. There’s a short form and a long form. On the long form, and recognize that the federal government says unless you answer every question, you’ll be subject to a fine. So the federal government will fine you if you don’t answer the questions.

HANNITY: Give us some of the example of the intrusive questions. We’ve gone over this some time ago and some of the questions that you don’t like.

BACHMANN: Well, they ask you your phone number. They want to know how many times you’ve given live birth. How many times you’ve been married. How many bathrooms are in your home. They want to know what time you leave your house in the morning to go to work. The hour and the minute. What time you come back from work. The hour and the minute. Your age, your race, your sex. And not only just for you, but for every person that lives in your house. Twenty-eight pages. Sean, you know the one question they don’t ask? They don’t ask, “are you an American citizen?” They don’t ask if you’re here on a visa or when it expires. We have no real idea how many illegal aliens are in our country. But wouldn’t you think, here they are asking every personal question about our lives, they could at least ask if we’re an American citizen? They don’t bother to ask for that. That’s why I think people need to read this census for themselves. If you go to my website, michelebachmann, you can read it.

Update

Typo corrected in the transcript.

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