Saturday, June 22, 2024

Latino Groups and Immigration Advocates Continue to Urge Census Boycott

Despite denunciation from national leaders, some Latino activists continue to urge immigrants to boycott the 2010 Census.

The effort is led by Rev. Miguel Rivera, head of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders. If his effort gains momentum then lack of participation of Latinos in the Census could dramatically affect the distribution of federal funds and apportionment of House seats.

Rivera is being joined by Los Angeles activist Nativo V. Lopez of the Mexican-American Political Association.  Rivera states that an estimated one million people already have agreed not to participate in the Census. They say they are frustrated with Congress’s inaction on comprehensive immigration reform and for the alleged injustices toward the undocumented members of the Latino community. They also believe that if undocumented immigrants are counted then it will be used to get funding for federal programs for which many of them aren’t even eligible.

This is defeating for the Census Bureau who has been spearheading a campaign to accurately count all Latinos.

Rivera is utilizing his vast network of Latino churches including the 20,000 pastors who are members of his organization and are preaching to their congregations to avoid the Census.  Rivera said, “I hope members of Congress will also sit down and look at these numbers [of potential boycotters] and say ‘Hey, this is really serious. That means they have to fix [immigration policy].”

A spokesperson for the Census Bureau, Stephen Buckner, said the bureau is deeply concerned, “when any organization puts self-interest ahead of a constitutional mandate that every person be counted.”

Latino groups such as the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) are worried about Rivera’s efforts to persuade Latinos to avoid the Census.

Arturo Vargas, the organization’s executive director and the acting vice chairman of the government’s 2010 Census Advisory Committee, called it “irresponsible”. He said, “The irony is that the enemies of immigration reform, this is what they want. They don’t want these people counted.”

Unrelated to the Census Boycott, Lopez, a longtime activist in the Los Angeles area was charged recently with voter fraud after an investigation by the California Secretary of State looking into  his voter registration in the City of Los Angeles while residing in Orange County.  Lopez calls the charges politically  motivated.

Latinos groups are not alone in their calls to boycott the 2010 Census.  Gay-rights activists briefly threatened a boycott, and most recently, conservative member of Congress Michele Bachmann (R- Minn) expressed concerns over privacy and alleged involvement of the grassroots group, Acorn, in the Census count.

Wall Street Journal

LA Times


  1. Ok, we all want everything right now. Gay people want DADT and DOMA repealed, Latinos want an immigration reform, but boycotting the census is ILLEGAL. Whoever is feeding Latino leaders this BS is really stupid if they think that boycotting the census is going to help their cause, because it is actually going to HURT them, their organizations and the funding Latino groups get. Why don’t we use the same excuse that we tell gay people…let Obama focus on the economy, health care and on the two wars…he’s only been in office for 6 months…be patient!!!

  2. BTW, gay-right activists couldn’t have supported the idea of boycotting the census, because it is until recently that Obama has asked the census to start counting gay couples.