Justice Dept. Closes Immigration Hearings

2001

Chief Immigration Judge Michael Creppy issues an order to all immigration judges, who are Justice Department employees, that says deportation hearings are to be closed to the press and the public, including family members, if the Justice Department says it is necessary.

Civil liberties groups will challenge the policy, saying it threatens the rights of immigrants. A federal appeals court will block the policy, but not before scores of secret hearings have been conducted. After a two-year court battle, the U.S. Supreme Court will allow the hearings to be closed.