NEW YORK – Hispanic evangelical pastors have made a decision to recommend that undocumented immigrants not participate in the 2010 U.S. Census unless Congress passes “genuine immigration reform.”
Opponents of such a reform routinely use Census data as “a tool” to justify “attacks on undocumented families with strategies of terror and lies that polarize public opinion,” the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, or Conlamic, said Monday.
“The cities of Riverside, New Jersey; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Irving and Farmers Branch, Texas, and the state of Oklahoma are evidence of the political capital that the Census statistics serve as for opportunistic politicians,” said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, the president of Conlamic.
Those politicos, he said, “use and take advantage of (Census data) to create unease in their communities with false arguments about the benefits and the contribution offered by undocumented families and workers.”
Conlamic’s vice president, the Rev. Luis Lopez, said that it’s not enough to suspend immigration raids during the time when the Census is conducted.
“It’s after the Census that the problems against our undocumented Latino community show up. The only thing that can guarantee that we are all counted is immigration reform,” he said. EFE