My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘boycott’

Group’s 2010 Census promo called ‘blasphemous’

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

From USA Today:

A push to spread the gospel about the 2010 Census this Christmas is stoking controversy with a campaign that links the government count to events surrounding the birth of Jesus.

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The National Association of Latino Elected Officials is leading the distribution to churches and clergy of thousands of posters that depict the arrival of Joseph and a pregnant Mary in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago. As chronicled in the Gospel of Luke, Joseph returned to be counted in a Roman census, but he and Mary found no room at an inn, and Jesus was born in a manger.

“This is how Jesus was born,” the poster states. “Joseph and Mary participated in the Census.”

Most of the posters are in Spanish and target Latino evangelicals, says Jose Cruz, senior director of civic engagement at the Latino association, which launched its Ya Es Hora (It’s Time) campaign in 2006 to promote voter registration among Latinos.

It is promoting the Census, used to help allocate $400 billion a year in federal dollars, redraw state and local political districts and determine the number of seats each state gets in Congress.

Illegal Aliens…Again…

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

From the National Review (I bolded the one sentence that I think is really interesting):

Illegal-Alien Census Boycott? Bring It On!    [Hans A. von Spakovsky]

The Boston Globe reports that advocates for illegal aliens are urging their followers to boycott the 2010 census. They want illegal aliens to “protest the government’s inaction on immigration legislation.”

Translated from liberal Boston Globe-speak, they mean legislation that would provide amnesty for the 15 million who are here illegally and would end the federal government’s half-hearted efforts to enforce our immigration laws.

I sure hope the boycotters are successful. This would result in two positive outcomes. First, states like California that have more congressional representatives than they should would lose those seats. Apportionment is based on the entire population counted by the census, not just citizens and lawful, permanent residents. It is fundamentally unfair that states get more votes in the House of Representatives based on the number of illegal aliens they harbor, rather than the number of U.S. citizens and legal residents who pay the full measure of taxes and have the proper allegiance to our system of government. California alone has six more congressional seats than it deserves because of its huge population of illegal aliens. States like Ohio and Pennsylvania are short seats because of this type of apportionment.

Second, states with large populations of illegal immigrants would lose the federal funds that are paid out — once again — based on the total population of those states. This provides an incentive for states to do nothing about their illegal-immigrant populations. If they had to absorb the full costs of their illegal aliens, they might change their minds on this issue, and “sanctuary” cities might disappear. As polls clearly indicate, many Americans believe it is fundamentally wrong for illegal aliens to receive government benefits. According to Rasmussen, 83 percent of Americans say proof of citizenship should be required before anyone can receive government subsidies; that is one of the reasons Obamacare is failing. Today’s large numbers of illegal aliens would decrease if local and state governments used their resources to help locate and remove these individuals, and if the federal government did what it is supposed to do — deport them when they are found, instead of providing financial incentives for them to stay.

Republicans Encourage Bachmann to End Census Boycott

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

The following is a press release from Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R-NC) office:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Brock McCleary
July 1, 2009 Phone: (202) 225-2576
Republicans Encourage Bachmann
to End Census Boycott
WASHINGTON – Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3), and Congressman John Mica (FL-7), Republican members of the Census Oversight Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s boycott of the 2010 Decennial Census.

“We share Ms. Bachmann’s concerns about ACORN’s involvement in the 2010 Census and will continue pressuring the Bureau to follow their own guidelines for partnering organizations and dump ACORN.  However, we can not emphasize enough how important it is for every individual to fill out their census forms.

“Every elected representative in this country should feel a responsibility to encourage full participation in the census.  To do otherwise is to advocate for a smaller share of federal funding for our constituents.  Boycotting the constitutionally-mandated census is illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country.

“The unfortunate irony is that Ms. Bachmann’s boycott only increases the likelihood that ACORN-recruited census takers will be dispatched to her constituents’ homes.  Anyone who completes and returns their census form will remove any need for a census taker to visit their residence.

“Furthermore, a boycott opens the door for partisans to statistically adjust census results.  The partisan manipulation of census data would irreparably transform the census from being the baseline of our entire statistical system into a tool used to wield political power in Washington.”

NOTE: The 2010 Decennial Census, not to be confused with the American Community Survey, will strictly utilize a short-form questionnaire for the first time ever.  Under Sections 9 and 24 of Title 13, information collected by the Census Bureau is confidential and not shared with any other federal agency.  Only an act of Congress could alter this statute.

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Update: Latino Clergy Divided Over Census Boycott

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Teresa Watanabe of the L.A. Times reports on the decision for Latino members of the clergy to encourage their congregants to boycott the 2010 Census:

U.S. census sparks feud over the counting of illegal immigrants

A national Latino clergy group wants 1 million to boycott the count in an effort to press for legalization. But immigrant activists decry the plan.
By Teresa Watanabe
May 31, 2009

In a high-stakes battle that could affect California’s share of federal funding and political representation, immigrant activists are vowing to combat efforts by a national Latino clergy group to persuade 1 million illegal immigrants to boycott the 2010 U.S. census.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, which says it represents 20,000 Latino churches in 34 states, recently announced that a quarter of its 4 million members were prepared to join the boycott as a way to intensify pressure for legalization and to protect themselves from government scrutiny.

“Before being counted, we need to be legalized,” said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, the coalition’s chairman and founder.

But the boycott call has infuriated many Latino organizations. La Opinión, in a recent editorial, denounced it as a “dangerous mistake” that “verges on political suicide” while an official with the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials called it “wildly irresponsible.”

“This is a phenomenal step backward in the strides we have made to make sure we are equal,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Latino officials group.

The decennial census, which counts all people regardless of immigration status, is used to allocate federal funds for education, housing, healthcare, transportation and other local needs. By some estimates, every person counted results in $1,000 in federal funds.

The census is also used to apportion the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which are based on a state’s population.

According to a study in 2003, California’s sizable illegal immigrant population allowed it to gain three House seats it might otherwise not have received. The state’s illegal immigrant population also caused Indiana, Michigan and Mississippi to each lose one of their seats and prevented Montana from gaining a seat.

The study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based research group that promotes immigration restrictions, also argued that the illegal immigrant population skewed the “one man, one vote” principle in elections.

In 2002, the study found, it took almost 100,000 votes to win the typical congressional race in the four states that lost or failed to gain a seat, compared with 35,000 votes to win in immigrant-rich districts in California.

Back in 1988, the effect on apportionment, which also affects the Electoral College, prompted a lawsuit by 40 members of Congress, Pennsylvania and the Federation for American Immigration Reform to prevent the Census Bureau from counting illegal immigrants. The complaint was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court for lack of standing.

“People who have no right to be in this country should not be counted,” said federation President Dan Stein. “It’s awfully hard to explain to U.S. citizens why they keep losing political representation to states like California because of people who broke immigration laws.”

Vargas and others questioned the boycott organizers’ political motivations, noting that most of them were conservative.

Rivera acknowledged that his coalition endorsed George W. Bush in 2004 and slightly favored Republican presidential nominee John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama by a vote of 52% to 48% last year. But he denied that the boycott was aimed at aiding Republicans.

He said his group was concerned that federal funds obtained in part through the counting of illegal immigrants would be used against them to increase arrests and harassment by local law enforcement.

Rivera also said he wanted to use the boycott as a way to pressure Congress to pass legislation offering legalization to illegal immigrants.

So far, his group appears to have gained little traction in California. A group of affiliated Latino pastors plans to meet in the next week or two to discuss the boycott call but has made no decision yet, according to Jose Caballero, a Camarillo minister.

But other Latino leaders say they are nervous about the boycott.

“The fact that they are getting a lot of media attention concerns us that they could do a lot of damage,” said Brent Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington, D.C.

Using the same slogan as their successful citizenship campaigns — “Ya es Hora,” or “It’s Time” — Spanish-language media, community groups, labor unions and churches plan to launch a far-reaching campaign urging mass participation in the census.

Boycott or not, they have their work cut out for them. Although the Census Bureau by law must keep information confidential, that message has not entirely gotten through.

At Our Lady Queen of Angels Church near Olvera Street, migrant farm worker Juan Garcia said he would not participate because of fears of how the information might be used.

Another illegal immigrant, Julian Chavez, also voiced concern that census workers would contact him at work, go to his home and ask nosy questions. Asked if he would participate, Chavez hedged his answer.

“Will there be consequences?” he asked. “I have my family to think about.”

Backlash Against Boycott

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

After a nationwide group of Latino clergy, the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (NCLCCL), announced they were urging a boycott of the 2010 Census, panic spread that this one boycott could trigger mass civil disobedience efforts. The NCLCCL’s “Stand up, but refuse to be counted in the 2010 U.S. Census” message garnered significant media attention in recent days, though apparently the support isn’t as widespread as they would have liked it to be. Other Latino advocacy groups have started to preach a counter-message, encouraging people to participate in the census, citing that an accurate count is good for America. The NCLCCL is planning a rally for this Saturday (4/25) in Newark, New Jersey. MyTwoCensus will be providing in-depth coverage of the event.

USA TODAY: Hispanic groups call for Census boycott

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

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.