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La Opinion Publishes Editorial in Response to Census Boycott


For Immediate Release
May 12, 2009

Contact: Eric Wagner (213) 747-7606, ext. 4427
Email: ewagner@naleo.org



La Opinion Publishes Editorial in Response to Census Boycott

Editorial Calls Boycott Dangerous & Misguided

LOS ANGELES —  La Opinion, one of the nation’s leading Spanish-language newspapers, published an editorial, entitled, “A Dangerous Boycott,” today in response to the call for a Census boycott. La Opinion is published by impreMedia, the nation’s top Hispanic news and information company in the U.S. in online and print, and a national parter in the historic ya es hora !HAGASE CONTAR! (It’s Time, Make Yourself Count!) Campaign.

The following is text from the Editorial:

“Sometimes the best intentions end up being the most damaging when they are misguided. This is the case of the census boycott promoted by an organization of Christian churches.”

“The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) is encouraging the Latino community not to participate in next year’s census. The group claims that the information collected WILL subsequently be used against the interviewed participants, in this case, the undocumented.”

“This is not true, because the data collected are kept confidential; there is no evidence indicating otherwise. The cases of anti-immigrant ordinances in some parts of the country do not arise because of census data, but rather due to a growing presence of Latinos in regions unaccustomed to their presence. The census has nothing to do with this.”

“It has even less to do with immigration reform. Nevertheless, the Coalition makes the unusual political argument connecting the census boycott with the approval of reform. Its members say that there is no need to participate in the census until reform is passed and the boycott is an instrument of pressure.”

“What a dangerous mistake! The proposal by this coalition of churches verges on political suicide. It is like saying: ‘If reform is not passed, we will disappear!’ It is a grave mistake to mix the census with legislation, even a bill legalizing millions.”

“Each decade’s headcount is used to update the allocation of federal money to communities based on their population numbers. It also redistributes political power by adjusting electoral districts to the new demographic reality. If Latinos do not participate, their communities will not receive the funding they deserve, or the political recognition.”

“It is ironic that at the same time CONLAMIC is promoting non-participation in the census, there are conservative groups that want to exclude the undocumented from the count. The two groups’ intentions are diametrically opposed, but the result of creating a ghost population is the same. We hope the Coalition will reconsider a strategy that, while claiming to want to help, ends up being tremendously damaging to the Latino community. Census information has been and continues to be confidential. It is time to stand up and be counted.”




About NALEO Educational Fund

The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation's leading non-profit organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

About the ya es hora Campaign

The ya es hora Campaign is the largest and most comprehensive non-partisan effort to
incorporate Latinos as full participants in the American political process. The campaign has
dramatically impacted naturalization rates and spurred record Latino turnout in the 2008
presidential election.

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