Many noncitizens plan to avoid the 2020 census, test run indicates

“It’s real facts,” says James Diossa, the mayor of Central Falls. “We need accuracy so that we can provide for our residents. But if you have information that’s not true, it’s going to affect all of these quality-of-life issues.”

Census numbers, Diossa says, recently helped Central Falls win state funds to clean up its only two athletic fields, where last year the city found lead, arsenic and other industrial contamination in the soil.

“If we don’t know how many people are here, we can’t really make an argument on why it’s so important to understand that this is a heavily used field,” he explains, standing on the same field at Macomber Stadium where he once played soccer as a student.