Counting is more important than ever to secure resources and political power, they say

Christmas inn celebrated with dedication to the 2020 Census

A group of immigrants made an inn dedicated to the 2020 Census. (Araceli Martínez / La Opinion).

Araceli Martínez / The Opinion

A group of immigrants took the streets of Los Angeles to ask for an inn, a Christmas tradition from Mexico, but also to attract attention to the 2020 Census and talk about the importance of all being counted regardless of immigration status.

“We are fulfilling a very important tradition for the immigrant and Latino community,” said Angélica Salas, leader of the Immigrant Rights Coalition (CHIRLA).

"We also want that like the inns, the Census is a tradition so that every ten years we count as a community ”, he said.

A very original inn carried out several angels asking everyone to participate in the Ceso 2020. (Araceli Martínez / La Opinion).

With the census, he explained, you can have the financial resources for schools, clinics, roads. “They are our taxes and we want them to return to our communities; and this is achieved through telling us. ”

But in addition, Salas indicated that the Census means political power and advance in what we need. "We want to ensure that people understand that this determines how many representatives we have in the government, and each vote is in favor of our community."

The inn coincided with the International Immigrant Day.

“We felt it was important to bring together the recreation of migrant pilgrims asking for shelter; In addition, take advantage of this tradition to remember what the community needs at this time, and connect it with something that people can do as they are told in the census, ”said the activist.

The pilgrims performed a song with a call to the 2020 Census. (Araceli Martínez / La Opinion).

What to say to undocumented immigrants so they are not afraid of being counted?

“First of all, the citizenship question is no longer in the Census. We must remind you that there are many organizations like CHIRLA that can help you with your doubts; and if it were something dangerous that we didn't trust, we would tell them not to do it, ”said Salas.

Members of CHIRLA, the Monsignor Oscar A. Romero clinic, the Catholic Charities organization, the Salvadoran American Education and Leadership Fund (SALEF), the Los Angeles Labor Federation and the Sanctuary Coalition participated in the inn.

In this adapted celebration, María and José traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for the census.

According to Lucas, César Augusto ordered a census for the Roman world. So Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem, the town of David. He went there to register Maria, who swore to be married to Joseph and expecting a son. When they were there, the time for their baby to be born arrived and gave birth to their first child, a man. He wrapped it in cloth and placed it in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The pilgrims of the Census carried out a pilgrimage in which the traditional Christmas carols sang and asked for shelter in the different places where they stopped.

At each stop, members of the Chirla WiseUp youth group and other volunteers knocked on doors and spoke with strangers asking them to sign a commitment card to participate in the 2020 Census.

Madeline Sandoval, a student at Hybrid USC High School, said she participated in the inn, because her parents are immigrants from El Salvador and Mexico.

“Statistically, Hispanic people and immigrants are the ones who least fill the census out of fear. I want to go out and tell them that we shouldn't have it because we gain resources when we are all counted, ”he said.

The procession left the Labor Federation building and culminated in the center of Concepción Parish in downtown Los Angeles, where pilgrims were welcomed with hot chocolate and cupcakes, music and camaraderie.


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