Census Bureau: Noncitizens can be hired for language gaps

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Census Bureau official says noncitizens can be hired as workers for the 2020 Census if they speak a language that's needed for the count and a citizen is unavailable to do the job.

Tim Olson, an associate director, made the announcement this week as the agency kicked off a recruiting and hiring initiative.

The bureau hopes to hire as many as 500,000 temporary workers for next spring's count.

Olson says appropriations law requires that only U.S. citizens be hired, but there's an exception for people who fill a language need when there are no U.S. citizens available.

The 2020 Census count will determine how many congressional seats each state gets and the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal money.

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