Long Island nonprofit organizations welcomed Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that rejected the Trump Administration’s attempt to put a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census questionnaire.
Those opposed to the question said it would intimidate the undocumented as well as legal non-citizens and skew the population count.
“While a partial and temporary victory- this is still a win. In these times in which we are living where there is assault after assault on our neighbors- every win- every moment, when humanity is reaffirmed, must be recognized,” said Rebecca Sanin, president/CEO of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island. at a press conference at the organization’s Melville headquarters shortly after the ruling was announced.
In addition to determining future congressional representation, the decennial count affects federal aid to schools, including special education and school lunches, highways, health programs, infrastructure, Medicaid and more, which relies on an accurate count of the residents using those services, regardless of citizenship status.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said the explanation offered by the Trump administration for adding the question “appears to have been contrived.”
But the court ruling left open the possibility that the question could be added under different reasoning, though Census questionnaires need to be printed soon.
Sanin and others emphasized the need for a full count of residents, noting that the state could lose a congressional seat if too many people are overlooked.
“Let us all come together today and be ambassadors of the Census,” Sanin said. “Let us use this momentary victory as a call to action- to start speaking to eveyone we encounter about the need to be counted, about how every human counts, and let’s create a sustainable, inclusive and hopeful future for all Long Islanders.”
This story will update