According to the Charlotte Observer, the D.C.-based National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, which represents about 16,000 churches, is calling on undocumented workers to boycott the 2010 census.
The pastors say political representation and federal money don’t matter to illegal immigrants, who can’t vote and don’t get to enjoy many of the benefits of living here.
Some states could suffer serious repercussions, since the data collected from a census determines how much money gets distributed and whether a congressional seat should be added. One such state could be North Carolina, which has an estimated 350,000 undocumented workers.
Roy Crisanto, pastor of El Tabernaculo De La Uncion, a Pentecostal church in South Charlotte, is telling members not to participate until laws change.
“The government wants to count people,” he said, “but not give them the benefits that come with being counted.”
A good portion of the Latino community sees this as an opportunity to force immigration reform. They figure anti-immigration politicians will have to reconsider their stance if they want more federal money and power.