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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.

If the Trump administration gets its way, federal law will require this question to be asked of each person living in all of the country's households in 2020: "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" It's been close to 70 years since a citizenship question has been included among the census questions for every U.S. household.

In fact, the U.S. census has never before directly asked for the citizenship status of every person living in every household.

Three federal judges have ruled that the process the Trump administration followed in pushing to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census failed to meet the mark.

In Maryland, U.S. District Judge George Hazel summed it up as "woefully deficient," while U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in California called the administration's efforts to find a justification for the question "a cynical search."

Updated April 25 at 5:28 p.m. ET

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court appear split along ideological lines on whether a citizenship question can be included on forms for the upcoming 2020 census.

Based on their questions during Tuesday's oral arguments at the high court, the justices appear ready to vote 5-4 to allow the Trump administration to add the hotly contested questions to forms for next year's national head count.

For the final months of 2020 census preparations to continue as planned, the Census Bureau says it is counting on the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the legal battle over the citizenship question by June. But a new appeal filed by plaintiffs in one of the Maryland lawsuits over the question could complicate that timeline.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Updated April 8 at 6:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's plans to add a hotly contested citizenship question to the 2020 census have suffered another major blow in the courts.

The question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

A third federal judge has found the decision to include it on forms for the national head count to be unlawful.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Steven Dillingham, the new director of the U.S. Census Bureau, is refusing to step into the controversy surrounding a potential question for the upcoming national head count.

The hotly contested question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

Updated April 1, 2020 at 10:40 a.m. ET

The federal government is trying to get every U.S. household to answer some personal questions for the 2020 census. It's part of a once-a-decade tradition of counting every person living in the U.S.

Speakers of Arabic — one of the fastest-growing languages in the U.S. — will have one fewer barrier to participating in the upcoming 2020 census.

For the first time, the federal government is planning to officially collect census responses in Arabic along with six other new language options for the head count, including French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese and Tagalog.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, is set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
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Commerce Secretary Wilbur

Updated 7:53 p.m. ET

A second federal judge has issued a court order to block the Trump administration's plans to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of California found that the administration's decision to add the question violated administrative law.

While parts of the federal government ground to a halt for 35 days during the shutdown, Census Bureau officials have insisted that work on the upcoming 2020 census continued.

Preparations for the constitutionally mandated head count were at "at full capacity" and were "uninterrupted" from Dec. 22, 2018, through Jan. 25, the Census Bureau has said, because of close to $1 billion in carryover funding from last year.

New security measures at the Department of Defense that limit the release of military records about U.S. troops deployed abroad could put the accuracy of the 2020 census "at risk," according to a newly released internal Census Bureau document.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The decision grants the administration's request for an immediate review of a lower court's ruling that stopped plans for the question. A hearing is expected to be held in April.

While hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed during the partial government shutdown, one federal agency was in the midst of a massive recruiting effort.

The Census Bureau has been busy trying to hire around a half million temporary workers to help carry out the upcoming national head count of every person living in the U.S. The census is set to officially kick off next January.

The Trump administration is planning to ask the Supreme Court to review a lower court's ruling that blocks the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, according to a Justice Department filing released Tuesday.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has agreed to come before lawmakers again to testify about his controversial decision last year to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, is set to appear at a March 14 hearing on Capitol Hill before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the committee's chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., announced Tuesday.

Ever since Alaska joined the union as the 49th state in 1959, the most remote parts of the most northern state have gotten a head start on the national head count.

Updated Jan. 18 at 4:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocks plans to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Updated at 5:08 p.m. ET

A federal judge in New York has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ordered the administration to stop its plans to include the controversial question on forms for the upcoming national head count "without curing the legal defects" the judge identified in his 277-page opinion released on Tuesday.

Updated Jan. 18 at 6:12 p.m. ET

The last stretch before the start of the 2020 census is upon us.

After months of controversy and uncertainty surrounding a botched contracting process, the Government Publishing Office has announced a new printer for the 2020 census.

The Senate has voted to fill the top post at the U.S. Census Bureau with President Trump's nominee Steven Dillingham.

In a unanimous voice vote on Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Dillingham's nomination, which the White House first announced last July. He previously led smaller federal agencies, including the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Allegations of cronyism, wasteful spending and other misconduct are roiling a little-known federal agency in charge of producing and distributing the government's official documents, including paper questionnaires for the upcoming 2020 census.

Eileen Okada was 5 years old when the U.S. government forced her and her family to live in a stall made for horses.

"I remember the stench. They cleaned it out, of course, but didn't scrub it down. The smell was still there," says Okada, now 81 and a retired elementary school teacher and librarian.

Just over half of Native Americans living on American Indian reservations or other tribal lands with a computer have access to high-speed Internet service, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The low rate of subscription to a high-speed Internet service — 53 percent — in these often rugged, rural areas underscores the depth of the digital divide between Indian Country and the rest of the U.S. Between 2013 and 2017, 82 percent of households nationally with a computer reported having a subscription to a broadband Internet service.

Next year, the U.S. Census Bureau is planning to launch its first-ever field test of a 2020 census form that includes the controversial citizenship question added by the Trump administration. The bureau wants to know how that question may affect responses to the upcoming national head count, the agency announced Thursday.

Updated 11:00 a.m. ET Tuesday

The Justice Department has discussed the possibility that federal law protecting the confidentiality of responses to the U.S. census may eventually be reconsidered, an internal Trump administration email shows.

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