February 17, 2010

Latino Pastors Urge Napolitano's Response on ICE Informant Allegations

Washington, DC - Today the National Coalition Of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) approved a resolution calling for an immediate response from Secretary Janet Napolitano regarding the New York El Diario La Prensa’s exclusive interview with former ICE Informants and secret spying initiative carried out against the undocumented immigrants just as census agents begin knocking doors around the country.

On February 14th, the New York El Diario La Prensa published a story called “Tracionados Por ICE”, which translates to English as “Betrayed by ICE”, shining a spotlight on the undercover efforts spearheaded by ICE to utilize vulnerable undocumented members of the Latino community to spy on its own community. This has been discovered just as government census agents are to begin canvassing Latino communities to collect personal and demographic data by all including the undocumented.

“Evangelical Latino Pastors from throughout the nation, members of CONLAMIC are outraged at this finding and demand an immediate cease of ICE’s efforts to operate informant spying within the Latino community,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera, Chairman of CONLAMIC.

CONLAMIC Leaders urges Congress to hold public hearings and achieve full disclosure of all norms and regulations that are duly implemented on this practice. It’s also a matter of assurance to the American people that issues and concerns regarding civil liberties are not being violated.This is another assault against all minority communities who had begun to trust our government. Latino Pastors are now gravely concerned about the autonomy of its churches and ICE’s disruption of the peace.

“People attending our worship services will fear that those who sit behind them in the pews can be ICE informants”, said Rev. Kittim Silva, CONLAMIC Vice-Chairman and Bishop of the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ.

CONLAMIC’s Legal Defense Fund attorneys will investigate and determine if constitutional laws have been violated by ICE.

"Without legalization for millions of undocumented immigrants, there is no assurance of confidentiality by census or any other government entity; our government is clearly not concerned with the well-being – how would we know if any representative is not in actuality an ICE informant,” said Rev. Rivera.

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