Census boycott will hurt Latino community, and undermine efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform
SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), an organization serving the 16 million Hispanic born-again Christians in the United States and Puerto Rico, today urged all Latinos and immigrants to participate in the 2010 Census. The NHCLC also opposes the efforts of a small group of organizations calling for a boycott of the enumeration as a strategy to achieve comprehensive immigration reform.
"A full count of the Latino population will help Latinos build a better future for their families," said Dr. Jesse Miranda, CEO of the NHCLC. "A full count is critical for the continued economic and political progress of the Latino community. An undercount of the Latino community will do serious damage to our families and our neighborhoods. By diminishing the representation of newcomers in our democracy, an undercount will also undermine efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. Encouraging anyone not to participate in the Census is simply wrong."
The United States Constitution requires all residents of the United Status, including immigrants, to participate in the decennial Census. Census statistics determine reapportionment and political representation, and are also used for allocating federal funding for many social and economic programs that benefit the Hispanic community, along with other residents. Additionally, Census data are used for the enforcement of civil rights and anti-discrimination laws, including the Voting Rights Act.
"Pastors have a moral responsibility to educate our parishioners and flocks in actions that benefit our communities on so many levels," said Dr. Gilbert Velez, NHCLC Chairman. "Accordingly, as America's largest Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, we call upon all Latinos and immigrants, including people of faith, to participate in the 2010 Census. The information provided to the Census is confidential and federal law and policies strictly protect the privacy of Census responses. A full count will help our communities move forward on the path of political empowerment, prosperity, and transformation."
NHCLC joins with Comunidad Presbiteriana Hispana & El Pozo de Jacob, The Jesse Miranda Center for Hispanic Christian Leadership, The Hispanic Mega Church Association, The Hispanic Pentecostal Congress and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as partners on the ya es hora !HAGASE CONTAR! (It's Time, Make Yourself Count!) campaign, a coalition of prominent Latino organizations and national Spanish-language media working to inform and motivate the nearly 50 million U.S. Latinos to fully participate in the 2010 Census. The campaign is led by the NALEO Educational Fund in conjunction with Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, NCLR, and media companies Entravision,impreMedia, and Univision, and includes organizational partners at the national, state, and local levels.
"Making sure all Latinos participate in the Census will require a comprehensive community-based effort," concluded Saturnino Gonzalez, Hispanic Pentecostal Congress Chair. "As members of the faith-community, we look forward to doing our part through the ya es hora !HAGASE CONTAR! campaign to help the Census Bureau to achieve a full count."
About The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) is committed to serving the 16 million Hispanic born-again Christians in the United States and Puerto Rico across generational, country of origin, and denominational lines on issues that pertain to the family, immigration, economic mobility, education, political empowerment, social justice, and societal transformation. The NHCLC serves and facilitates a representative voice for a growing number of the 25,434 churches and 75 denominations in addition to faith-based organizations, institutes, networks, congregations, and active laity. Hispanic born-again Christians make up 37 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population and 88% of all U.S. Hispanic Protestants, 43% of all U.S. Hispanic Mainline Protestants, and 26% of all U.S. Hispanic Roman Catholics.
The organization was founded in 1992 under the name A.M.E.N. Today NHCLC provides a unified voice for the Hispanic Born Again Christians of all denominations in the United States of America. Lead by many of the top Hispanic Christian pastors, denominational leaders, businessmen and civil servants, the NHCLC is one of the preeminent voices in the Hispanic Church today. It actively partners with a number of organizations like the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief, World Vision, Promise Keepers, Sojourners, Center for American Progress, Evangelicals for Human Rights, Compassion Values Forum, and many other organizations.
To lead the Hispanic born-again community in America for the purpose of transforming our culture, preserving our Judeo Christian Value System and building the spiritual, intellectual and social/political capital within the Hispanic American Community.
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 had a dramatic impact on naturalization rates and spurred record Latino turnout in the 2008 presidential election.