USA TODAY: Hispanic groups call for Census boycott
USA Today scooped MyTwoCensus by revealing that some Hispanic groups are urging people to boycott the 2010 Census. This could spell trouble for the decennial headcount, as Hispanics, typically some of America’s most devout and religious people, are being told by members of the clergy to avoid participating in the census until immigration reform laws are passed. Here’s the story:
The National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, a group that says it represents 20,000 evangelical churches in 34 states, issued a statement this week urging undocumented immigrants not to fill out Census forms unless Congress passes “genuine immigration reform.”
Similar grass-roots campaigns are unfolding in Arizona and New Mexico to protest state and local crackdowns on illegal immigrants. Asking immigrants to be counted without giving them a chance to become legal residents counters church teachings, says the Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the Latino religious coalition.
When the Census counts growing numbers of Hispanics, the counts are often used to support crackdowns on illegal immigrants, he says. About 38% of the churches’ 3.4 million members are undocumented, he says. The Census Bureau does not ask people if they are here illegally.