It is probably no secret that the National Association of Elected Latino Officials is distributing the following poster to churches nation-wide to encourage Hispanics to participate in the upcoming census. [ There is a Spanish language poster. 12/26/09]
Many people and groups feel this measure is entirely inappropriate and hypocritical. In the first place, there is a constant vigilance kept about keeping church and state separate. The head of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, called the poster “blasphemous.
According to ABC News:
Latino advocacy groups have launched an aggressive campaign to boost participation in the census, allay fears over confidentiality of the information it gathers, and counteract isolated efforts to boycott the count as a way of forcing immigration reform.
Advocates say the census is the only means for Latinos – a diverse and fast-growing population – to achieve greater political representation and benefit from federal programs that directly affect immigrants and their families.
Federal money and apportionment of congressional seats all hang on an accurate census. Unfortunately, too many Latinos have been led to think that the census takers are violating their privacy or possibly reporting them for any breach in immigration status. Basically, they don’t want the government in their business.
Is the poster in bad taste or is it a good tool to educate those who want to dodge the census? Should the government take heroic measures to include Latinos in the census? Some people have voiced fairly strong opinions on both sides of this issue.