Monday, June 17, 2024

CHC Accompanies Obama to Summit of Americas; Responds to Anti-Census Statement by Latino Groups

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) was the first to learn about President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico, and three key members of the caucus are currently traveling with him to the Summit of the Americas. Members include Congressman Nydia Velazquez, Chair of the CHC, Congressman Xavier Becerra, vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez, Chair of the Agriculture and Rural Community Task Force.

Congressman Velazquez (NY-12) said “There are important conversations to be had regarding immigration reform, border security and trade relations with our closest neighbors. We look forward to taking part in those exchanges, and representing the views of our constituents and Latinos across the nation.”

In other news, the CHC is responding to statements from several organizations urging some immigrants to boycott the 2010 Census. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, a group on behalf of 20,000 evangelical churches in 34 states, issued a statement this week urging undocumented immigrants not to fill out Census forms unless Congress passes “genuine immigration reform”.

Other grass-roots campaigns in Arizona and New Mexico are protesting state and local crackdowns on illegal immigrants. Rev. Miguel Rivera, president of the Latino Religious Coalition says, “Asking immigrants to be counted without giving them a chance to become legal residents counters church teachings.”

Rivera continues, “When the Census counts growing numbers of Hispanics; the counts are often used to support crackdowns on illegal immigrants. About 38% of the churches’ 3.4 million members are undocumented.”

Contrary to what these groups believe, the Census Bureau does not ask people if they are here illegally.

Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez, 1st Vice Chair of the CHC and Chair of the group’s Civil Rights, Veterans and Worker Protections Task Force, said “There’s no doubt about it, the Hispanic community must stand together and be counted in the 2010 census. Boycott groups are uniting and bringing attention to the important issue of immigration reform, though well intentioned, their efforts are failing to take into account the long-term implications of their actions. 2010 census numbers will affect the daily lives of all Hispanics throughout the next ten years; we must not let this important opportunity for representation pass us by.”

“It is vital for all people, especially minorities, to be counted. Census numbers help decide the number of U.S. House members each state is entitled to have and provide the private sector with necessary data to make business investments in specific communities, both of which, will have a dramatic impact on our nations future. The Obama administration continues to move forward on immigration reform and we must have patience as we develop comprehensive solutions. It will continue to take time, but in the meanwhile we should encourage everyone to be counted in the 2010 Census.”

USA Today