Some clergy call on illegal immigrants to boycott the Census. “This is a matter of moral principle,” Miguel Rivera, leader of the boycott, says.
The National Coalition Of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders called for the boycott last year in an effort to push leaders to pass immigration reform.
Now Rivera, president of the coalition, says it's in the best interest of millions of illegal immigrants to “exercise their right to free expression maintaining themselves silent and not exposing themselves further.”
The group estimates more than 3 million illegal immigrants won’t cooperate with the Census.
The U.S. Constitution calls for a nationwide count every 10 years. The data is used to distribute some $300 billion to state and local governments and adjust congressional representation.
Census officials say its critical that every resident be counted, and that immigration status is not part of the query.
An undercount could affect millions of dollars coming to the Carolinas for roads, schools and hospitals. It could also determine whether either state gains a congressional seat.
The pastors however say political representation and federal money don't matter to illegal immigrants, who can't vote and don't get to enjoy many of the benefits of living here.
Here are excerpts from a letter Rivera sent out this morning:
"The Census boycott is on. This is a matter of moral principle and pastoral care.
Congress will not move forward with legalization, there is no moratorium on executing raids and deportations.
It is in the best interests and the welfare of millions of undocumented immigrants, to exercise their right to free expression maintaining themselves silent and not exposing themselves further…
… We recognize that the Census is important, but its own importance and accuracy, converts itself into a weapon of families destruction."
…Only a Cease and Desist on Raids and Deportations would move us to call the boycott effort to stop.
File photo: Radio host Jorge Medina asked listeners last year if they'll participate in Census. Many said they'll boycott.