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NASW Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Block 2020 Census Citizenship Question

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) commends the U.S. Supreme Court for its 5-4 decision barring a proposed new question in the 2020 Census which would ask respondents to declare whether they are U.S. citizens. This is a critically important ruling for immigrant communities in the United States. The Supreme Court unambiguously rebuked President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in their attempt to use the 2020 Census to precipitate an undercount of immigrants. 

The implications of adding a citizenship question include immigrants being deterred from completing the mandatory surveys and skewing the count of individuals which is used to determine congressional apportionment and allocate federal funding for a variety of programs serving vulnerable families and communities.  

The Supreme Court made it clear that the motivation behind the Department of Commerce’s attempt to add the citizenship question, which the administration said was to enforce the Voting Rights Act, was contrived, deeply flawed, and political. This court decision validates the position of immigration advocacy coalitions that the genesis of placing a citizenship question on the Census questionnaire was an effort to discriminate against and dilute the power of communities of color and immigrant families -- which include American citizens and noncitizens alike. 

NASW will continue to work to ensure that all of us are counted in the 2020 Census. 

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.