AMERICA NEEDS AN ACCURATE COUNT
Washington, DC—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, today joined elected officials and national Latino groups on Capitol Hill to highlight a variety of campaign efforts aimed at motivating the nearly 50 million Latinos in the country to participate in the 2010 Census. The groups have joined forces on the day that most households receive their Census forms.
“Latinos are a national community and an integral feature of the face of America. Over the last two decades, we have grown across the nation, in small towns and big cities, in states from coast to coast,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “Census information is protected and confidential, and the Constitution says every person must be counted—all communities will benefit from fulfilling that mandate. But it is a shame that Latino and immigrant families are getting mixed signals from the government about their participation due to raids and other alarming and arbitrary tactics being carried out in our communities,” added Murguía.
While most Hispanic Americans are U.S.-born citizens, many live in mixed-status families, and that, combined with the patchwork of local and federal immigration enforcement practices and the confusion and fear they create, could make many families hesitant to let a stranger into their home.
“Our community marched for respect in 2006, eligible immigrants became citizens in record numbers in 2007, and Latino voters turned out with great energy in 2008. In 2010, that participation continues, and we are committed to achieving a Census count that gives us a true picture of the American population. NCLR stands together with our network of community-based organizations to encourage the Latino community to mail in their forms and participate fully in the 2010 Census, and we call on the government to stop practices that undermine our constitutional responsibility to achieve an accurate count” Murguía said.
To prevent another undercount of Latinos, like that of the 2000 Census, NCLR has partnered in ya es hora ¡HAGASE CONTAR!(It’s Time! Make Yourself Count), a campaign whose national partners also include the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
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