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The original item was published from 5/22/2020 1:04:18 PM to 6/6/2020 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: May 22, 2020

[ARCHIVED] U.S. Census Bureau Update Leave Operation Underway in Las Cruces

Hand writing on paper

The U.S. Census Bureau has begun to drop off 2020 Census questionnaires at the front doors of some Las Cruces and Doña Ana County households.

This operation is also known as “Update Leave” and is done in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their physical address. The Census Bureau began hand-delivering census materials on March 15 but suspended all fieldwork for this operation on March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of our residents are experiencing loss of their income and are concerned about food security and access to healthcare,” said Jamey Rickman, Community Engagement Manager. “With an accurate count we can have the federal funding that we need to help them,”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Las Cruces currently has a response rate of 57.9 percent and the community has until October 31 to self-respond online at, by phone in English 1-844-330-2020, in Spanish 1-844-468-2020 or by mail.

“Some members of the community might not feel comfortable answering online or by phone, but we are hoping that by having a paper questionnaire they will feel motivated to answer the census,” Rickman added.

According to the Census Bureau, about five percent of households are counted in the Update Leave operation, where census workers will confirm or update a household’s physical location address and then leave a census questionnaire packet.

The Update Leave operation does not require interaction between households and a Census Bureau employee and follows current federal health and safety guidelines.

According to the Census Bureau, temporary field staff has also been trained to observe all social distancing protocols. They will wear official government-provided personal protective equipment for their safety and that of the public’s.

I Count NM is encouraging that people respond promptly to the 2020 Census using the identification number included in the questionnaire packet. Responding with a census ID or the paper questionnaire helps ensure the best count of the community.

Households that do not respond may be visited by a census worker during the Non-Response Follow-Up Operation from August 11 to October 31.

If you need more information, please call (575) 541-2100 or visit

City of Las Cruces news releases are available on the home page of the City website at under News & Announcements and can be translated into Spanish and multiple other languages using the Select Language feature on the lower right side of the page.

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