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AAP Statement on Supreme Court Decision on 2020 Census

6/27/2019 by: Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

​"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) commends today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily prevent a question about U.S. citizenship status from being included in the 2020 census. While the Court gave the Department of Commerce the opportunity to further pursue adding the question, the AAP urges the agency not to do so.

“Including a citizenship question in the 2020 Census would have wide-reaching, detrimental consequences for hard-to-count communities like young children, people of color, immigrant families, urban and low-income households, and limited-English proficiency populations.

If entire communities are left out of the count, programs that are vital to children and families like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as foster care, child care and nutrition programs run the risk of being underfunded. The people who will bear the burden of these diminished federal resources are children and their families.

“Immigrant families are already facing threats to their health and safety, including being denied benefits, housing and access to food and medical care. While nearly all young children in the country today are U.S. citizens, 20 percent of children ages birth to four live in a household with one or more non-citizen, a higher percentage than any other age group. Adding a citizenship question to the census would mean that these children and everyone they live with would be less likely to be counted, and that their communities would have significantly fewer resources to serve them.

“The AAP urges the Commerce Department to stop pursing a citizenship question in the 2020 census. All children deserve to be counted.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds