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Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a national correspondent for NPR based in New York City. He reports on the people, power and money behind the 2020 census.

Wang received the American Statistical Association's Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award for covering the Census Bureau and the Trump administration's push for a citizenship question.

His reporting has also earned awards from the Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, and Native American Journalists Association.

Since joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, he has reported on race and ethnicity for Code Switch and worked on Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

As a student at Swarthmore College, he worked on a weekly podcast about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The estranged daughter of a deceased Republican operative has made his private files public, and these files could hold clues to one of the most divisive issues in American politics - gerrymandering. They might even prompt legal battles in states across the country. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang joins us to explain the story of this family, their files and the possible fallout.

Hi, Hansi.

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: OK. Explain who this Republican strategist is and who his daughter is.

More than a year after his death, a cache of computer files saved on the hard drives of Thomas Hofeller, a prominent Republican redistricting strategist, is becoming public.

Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina fought in court to keep copies of these maps, spreadsheets and other documents from entering the public record. But some files have already come to light in recent months through court filings and news reports.

The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to share certain government records from its databases to help the Census Bureau produce data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country.

Robert Alexander has been away from home for more than a decade. His days and nights are spent locked up behind walls topped with barbed wire.

"Prison kind of gives you that feeling that you're like on an island," says Alexander, 39, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in biblical studies while serving his third prison sentence.

Clad in an oversized gray sweatshirt under the fluorescent lights inside the visiting room of Wisconsin's oldest state prison, he is more than 70 miles from his last address in Milwaukee.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The citizenship question the Trump administration wanted to add to the 2020 census would have likely been especially sensitive in areas with higher shares of Latinx residents and noncitizens. That's among the Census Bureau's final conclusions from its recent experiment testing public reaction to the question.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Facebook is changing user policies for its social media platforms to explicitly ban disinformation about and ads trying to discourage participation in the 2020 census, the company announced on its website Thursday.

The company says it plans to enforce these specific bans on all users, including politicians — a departure from previous comments from Facebook officials who said the company did not want to restrict politicians' speech on its platforms.

With fewer than 100 days left before the 2020 census is fully underway, rural communities caught in the digital divide are bracing for a potential undercount that could make it harder for them to advocate for resources over the next decade.

Months after the end of the legal battle over the now-blocked citizenship question, the trail of emails and internal memos about the Trump administration's push to include the question on the 2020 census is getting longer.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

Nebraska's Department of Motor Vehicles has agreed to share its state driver's license records with the U.S. Census Bureau, the bureau and the state's DMV said Wednesday.

The confirmation makes Nebraska the first state to cooperate with the Trump administration's efforts to produce data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country. So far, no other state has signed a similar agreement with the Census Bureau, Michael Cook, a spokesperson for the bureau, tells NPR.

Updated Nov. 13 at 3:50 p.m. ET

A prominent GOP redistricting strategist had direct communication with an adviser to the Trump administration concerning the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, newly released emails show.

The emails were released Tuesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which has been conducting an investigation into the origins of the citizenship question that the Trump administration failed to add to forms for the upcoming national head count.

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