U.S. Census Director Robert Groves is trying to reassure immigrants that taking part in the decennial head count won't lead to deportation.

But the Census Bureau has plenty of work ahead. Groves arrived Monday in an impoverished Laredo, Texas, neighborhood in a small convoy that included several police cars and large white vans. One resident said it was the kind of sight that makes some residents run and hide.

The San Carlos colonia, or neighborhood, is among the nation's most difficult places for census workers to survey. Many residents fear talking to government workers because of their immigration status.

Groves said the Census Bureau is using advertising and word of mouth to assure immigrants that the census count isn't an investigation.