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The Trump administration concealed evidence that its proposal to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 U.S. census was intended to help Republicans draw favorable electoral maps, according to immigrant advocacy groups that sued the administration over the question last year. In a filing in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, the groups said that the administration hid the fact during the course of the lawsuit that went to trial last year that Thomas Hofeller, a longtime Republican specialist on drawing electoral districts, played a “significant role” in planning the citizenship question. The plaintiffs in the case, which include the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee and Make The Road New York, said in Thursday’s filing that they learned of Hofeller’s role after his files came to light in a separate litigation in North Carolina. The Department of Commerce, which oversees the census, could not immediately be reached for comment. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman blocked the question’s inclusion following the trial, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared poised to overturn that ruling at an oral argument in April. According to Thursday’s filing, Hofeller concluded in a 2015 study that asking census respondents whether they are U.S. citizens “would clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” in redistricting. Hofeller went on to ghostwrite a draft letter from the U.S. Department of Justice to the Department of Commerce, asking for a citizenship on the grounds that it would help enforce voting rights, according to the…

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