Reporters denied access to immigration hearings held in tents

Federal immigration authorities opened temporary tents along the Texas border to consider immigrants’ requests to remain in the U.S., but none of the hearings are open to the news media. (USA TODAY, September 11, 2019, by John C. Moritz)

A Homeland Security official said the proceedings, mostly asylum requests, were not public and closed to reporters. Another official said the proceedings were unique because of “law enforcement sensitive priorities” at the border. A Human Rights First researcher said the closed hearings prevented any observation of due process violations during the hearings. (BuzzFeed News, September 11, 2019, by Adolfo Flores)

PEN America issued a press release on June 25 protesting the lack of access to detention camps on the southern border, “The fact that journalists are being sealed off and held behind a wall of secrecy, unable to show the American people the faces and voices of those who are suffering in squalor is one more unconscionable aspect to this epic horror story on the southern border.”

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