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Church pastors urging Latino organizations not to boycott census

Pastors representing 1,200 Latino evangelical churches in Southern California speak out today against calls to boycott the 2010 census by some Latino evangelical and political organizations.

The boycott call, launched to protest the lack of progress on immigration reform, has Latino leaders worried that it could dissuade some from participating in the decennial count, which is used to apportion political representation and allocate $400 billion in federal funding.

But the massive Latino evangelical network, La Red de Pastores del Sur de California, has organized a yearlong game plan to encourage census participation under the motto, "We call count in God's eyes: Make yourself be counted."

The network was formed in 2006 to organize for immigration reform and now is championing the census. The campaigns represent the first time most of the pastors have taken political action in what many say illustrates the awakening power of the Latino evangelical movement.

--Teresa Watanabe

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Comments () | Archives (13)

So illegal immigrants should be counted when determiming how political representation and federal funds are apportioned??? WHY?

Now we have religion interfering with goverment. Setting a dangerous mix.

Hey, let them shoot themselves in the foot. As long as they don't want to be counted, they are not getting taxpayer money for programs, etc. that might help them. It will be savings for the taxpayer. Go ahead! Boycott it.

I would like you to clarify "immigration reform".

1. Does it mean all immigrants from all over the world?

2. What do you mean by reform? Don't we have a path to
citizenship already?

3. Do we not have a visa program?

4. Do we need to advertise ourselves to convince others to

5. What can we do to convince immigrants from lands far
away? Do we need to implement a program for trans-
portation and written articles about our country in
their language?

3. Do you mean

Since the Latino churches are so intent on getting politically active, I say we strip those churches of their IRS tax exemptions and do it now.

More proof that assimilation is not the goal (talking about the boycott organizers, not the one's calling for the boycott of the boycott).

Chris F.,

You'll have to ask the Founding Fathers that question, since they created the census during the drafting of the Constitution in the 1780's. But maybe you're smarter than them.

Better yet, maybe you'd agree to count illegal immigrants as three-fifths of a person-- that's the compromise the founders created to count the slave population.

Then again, from the tenor of your comment, you sound like the type of person who argued against counting enslaved persons at all. Many of them argued, to paraphrase, "So SLAVES should be counted when determining how political representation and federal funds are apportioned??? WHY?"

The undercount in the 2000 Census, for LA County alone, resulted in a loss of over $600 million dollars in Federal funding. In addition, an accurate count would have triggered re-apportionment resulting in increased representation in Congress. We want a count of EVERYONE - to get our appropriate amount of federal funding but also to be able to plan for services and programs. How many police and firemen we need, hospitals, etc., not just welfare programs but everything.

Chris F asks why the census should count undocumented workers.

Simple. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States says that "Representation and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers ... . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."

This means count people. The Constitution does not say count only legal immigrants, or only citizens, or only taxpayers. It say count people. Slaves, who couldn't vote, were counted, but only as 3/5 of a person.

Sorry to tell you, but illegal immigrants and undocumented workers are people. Whether they have a green card does not make them less than human. You used to say that wearing a yellow star of David made you less than human, but we've moved beyond that.

Illegal immigrants (along with, BTW, prison inmates, some of whom have committed far more serious crimes than illegal immigration, like murder and child rape) are counted in the Census because the Constitution dictates that all "PERSONS" be counted. In order not to count illegal aliens or anyone else, they would have to be constitutionally declared non-human.

This is why slaves had to be declared only 3/5 human in order to be counted that way. Declaring them only 3/5 human had the side effect of helping to bolster the argument to continue slavery - if you're not fully human, you're no more deserving of human rights than a monkey or a mosquito.

While it is certainly tempting to lawfully declare someone such as, say, the BTK Killer a non-human or a "fractional" human, this would set a dangerous precedent. I assure you that such declaration of non-humanhood would not stop with criminals. Everyone would be in danger of ultimately being part of a group that could have their legal personhood stripped away.

Real Talk -- there ARE people who would like to see illegal aliens counted as only 3/5 or 1/2 a person. In their zeal to get at the Mexicans, they are willing to put everyone--including the native-born Americans they claim to love--in mortal danger by setting a legal precedent where a subsection of the populace could be declared "not fully human." It's quite chilling, and while I hope this flavor of fascism never comes back to America, I fear it may.

great. that's all we need--more conservative fundamentalists. Dios Mio!

You have to remember that there weren't many or any illegal immigrants per se at the time of the writing of the constitution. We now have 1/15 of the population of the U.S. are illegal aliens. Slaves themselves were not allowed to vote, etc., but the slaveowners were given the power of 3/5 more votes for every slave they owned (slaves could generally not read or write english). Also, many illegal immigrants are migratory, and thus counting them in one county would actually take away representation in another (see this in high school graduation rates). One major consideration is that illegals have voting rights in their home countries, and thus double their political power, which is not fair to others.

I feel that in this article the Latino group is sounding hypocritical about boycotting the 2010 census, because of the quote they want to be counted in God's eyes. I feel that the federal government needs to allocate the spending on better funding such as: education for all the children, health-care, the soldier's fighting for our country everyday, also for the families to be somehow shown more appreciation for the fallen-heroes in this war we are in, and the fact our President, Obama, needs to stay in the U.S. and worry more about the people from here. The 2010 census, in my eyes, is a waste of our federal money!


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