May 30, 2009

1 Million Undocumented Latino Congregants to Boycott Census 2010

Washington, DC - The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) is leading a nationwide grassroots campaign to empower undocumented immigrant members of the Latino evangelical church that encourages a boycott of the 2010 Census until Congress achieves Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Pastors will gather to pray June 6th in Lafayette Square in front of the White House for a compassionate solution to the immigration problem that will help an estimated 12 million undocumented people.

"CONLAMIC pastors in cities around the nation are delivering the message to the undocumented church members not to allow themselves to be counted by the census until they are given the right to live, work, raise families, and participate in democracy of this nation," said Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of CONLAMIC.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit of the federal government will spend 500 million in 2009 to capitalize on what it deems successful over the last several years including, investigations, detention, and removals of undocumented people from the U.S. In 2010, ICE has budgeted another 350 million tax dollars to continue these efforts.

“ICE has targeted non-threatening people and has practiced deliberate separation of families, resulting in terror and fear within Latino immigrant communities - and the Latino church finds this appalling,” said Rev. Rivera.

On Saturday, June 6th at 12:00pm, thousands of Hispanic Christians from diverse denominations will gather to pray for comprehensive immigration.

"CONLAMIC pastors have reported in from many states, such as Florida, Georgia, the Carolina’s, Virginia, Oklahoma, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas about their support and push for the boycott among their undocumented congregants,” said Rev. Rivera. “A boycott of the Census in 2010 gives a voice to the voiceless that desperately need a compassionate solution to immigration reform.”

Farm workers, laborers, housewives, business people are using the term, “antes de contar nos tienen que legalizar”, which is Spanish for "before being counted, we must be legalized."

CONLAMIC is the largest Latino evangelical advocacy organization in the United States with a membership of more than 20,000 Hispanic churches who serve over 4 million Latino’s and an estimated one third who are undocumented.

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