This news that an important constituency which will help him see a progressive transformation in this nation is being told to boycott the US census.
Latino pastor group urging census boycott
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A nationwide group of Latino ministers has a message for illegal immigrants: Stand up, but refuse to be counted in the 2010 U.S. census.
The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders is urging undocumented immigrants to boycott the census — which is used to calculate everything from federal funding to congressional representation — unless Congress first passes immigration reform.
"The same data that helps the Latino community to seek political empowerment, the same numbers that are used to show how strong we are and prove our growing numbers, that's the same data the anti-immigrant forces use against us," the Rev. Miguel Rivera, the head of the coalition, said Tuesday.
Census numbers have been used to target and repress the undocumented in the past, Rivera said, and the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants need a path to legalization before they agree to have their numbers count.
"When we weigh, in the balance, how many benefits the undocumented get by letting themselves be counted, it's more on the side of funding more police officers to arrest them, and more immigration agents to deport them and disrupt families," Rivera said. "We can't ask them to do something that is going to bring more sadness to this community."
Census officials stress that information is strictly confidential, and that they don't inquire about immigration status or ask for a Social Security number. It's required by the Constitution that every person residing in America be included.