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Leaders using churches to encourage Latinos to participate in census

December 23, 2009

Interesting piece in today’s NYT about Latino leaders trying to mobilize Hispanics to participate in 2010 census. They are making a big push this week in evangelical churches.

Latino groups contend that there was an undercount of nearly one million Latinos in the 2000 census, affecting the drawing of Congressional districts and the distribution of federal money. Hispanic organizations are far better organized for next year’s census, but they say that if illegal immigrants — an estimated eight million of whom are Latino — are not included, the undercount could be much greater.

But many Hispanics here illegally are wary of giving information to the government because they fear deportation. Some church leaders are calling for a boycott of the survey. And Catholic leaders don’t want to encourage participation without some assurance from the current administration that illegal residents won’t be targeted.

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