Latino Action Network Endorses Full Cooperation with Census 2010
Opposes Census Boycott Plans by Small Minority
For Immediate Release: February 1, 2010
Frank Argote-Freyre, Interim Chair – 908-670-0552
Christian Estevez, Steering Committee Member – 973-418-7012
The Latino Action Network [LAN] today urged members of the Latino community to participate fully in Census 2010, including undocumented immigrants, and opposed efforts by a small minority to encourage a boycott. In the coming months, the LAN intends to sponsor several statewide events aimed at fostering an understanding of the importance of the Census. LAN is partnering with the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) as part of their Latino Census Network.
“We reject all calls for a boycott by those who argue it will pressure the federal government into enacting comprehensive immigration reform,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, interim Chairperson of the Latino Action Network. “The immigrant community, documented and undocumented, is struggling for acceptance and a boycott sends the message that they do not want to participate in this society.”
Argote-Freyre continued: “The vast majority of immigrants have come to build this great nation. They are proud of the United States and want it to reach even greater heights. They want to participate and be recognized for their contributions.”
Christian Estevez, a member of the LAN Steering Committee, also noted that the boycott strategy is critically flawed. “A boycott will not pressure the federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform, because the Census Bureau will respond by developing a statistical model to estimate the immigrant population count. The end result will be an undercount adversely effecting the Latino population and other immigrant populations. It is an act of civil disobedience with little chance of meaningful success.”
The stakes are particularly high for New Jersey which could lose a Congressional seat. An immigrant undercount could make the difference between 13 congressional districts or 12 congressional districts. Census information is the way the federal government appropriates funds and political representation to communities.
Argote-Freyre concluded: “We support the approach of many immigrant organizations that urge undocumented immigrants to hand in their completed Census forms at churches and other locations where they feel safe.”