They did not grant her access. But the Chronicle was allowed to observe the hearing from Virginia, where the presiding judge was holding court in Artesia via teleconference. The Chronicle sent Washington correspondent David McCumber to observe the hearing.
In a subsequent statement to the Chronicle and also provided to CJR, ICE cited security concerns at the Artesia facility where the immigration court is housed. According to the statement: “For these detention center locations, ICE personnel must be available to ensure appropriate security procedures are followed when escorting visitors at the center.”
“They are essentially insisting that reporters need clearance to get to the courts,” she said. “And I’m arguing, we don’t need clearance. They are open.”