U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman on Supreme Court’s Census Apportionment Case

WASHINGTON—Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, commented today on Trump v. New York, a case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. The case focuses on President Trump’s July 21, 2020 memorandum instructing the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment of congressional representatives, a process inherent in the decennial census.

On November 16, 2020 the USCCB, together with other Catholic organizations, filed an amicus curiae brief in this case. The brief argues that excluding undocumented persons from the apportionment base of the census sends a message that undocumented persons are not equal members of the human family. This message contradicts with the inherent dignity of all people and violates the United States Constitution and the Census Act.

Bishop Dorsonville offered the following statement:

“Denying the undocumented and the states in which they reside their rightful representation in Congress is counter to the Constitution and makes people feel invisible and not valued as human beings. The Church’s teaching is clear: human dignity is most sacred, regardless of legal status. For that reason, we once again affirm the need to count all persons in the census, as well as in the apportionment of congressional representatives.”

Previous statements about the 2020 census from the USSCB can be found at: https://www.usccb.org/news/2019/bishops-urge-all-people-count-and-must-be-included-census-efforts and https://www.usccb.org/news/2020/us-bishops-urge-president-rescind-divisive-memorandum-excluding-undocumented-inclusion.

USCCB’s amicus curiae brief on this case is available on the USCCB website.

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