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39 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 95 (2004)
Secrecy in the Immigration Courts and beyond: Considering the Right to Know in the Administrative State

handle is hein.journals/hcrcl39 and id is 101 raw text is: Secrecy in the Immigration Courts and Beyond:
Considering the Right To Know in the
Administrative State
Heidi Kitrosser*
It's really a disgrace that the attorney general of the United
States thinks we should return to tactics used during the Spanish
Inquisition.... My client comes from a part of the world where
they use these secret trials, and then people disappear.
-Immigration Attorney Bennett Zurofsky'
Ten days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Chief Immigration
Judge Michael Creppy sent an e-mail memorandum (the Creppy Memo-
randum) to all immigration judges. The Creppy Memorandum pertains
to certain cases in the Immigration Court that Attorney General Ash-
croft has deemed of special interest, and for which the Attorney Gen-
eral has implemented additional security procedures.'2 The Memorandum
states that immigration judges will be notified should any of these cases
[be] filed in [their] court, that hearings for such cases must be closed to
the public, and that courts must keep all details of such cases secret.3 The
order prevents courts from even confirming or denying whether a [des-
ignated] case is on the docket or scheduled for a hearing.4 By mid-2003,
over 600 secret immigration hearings had been held pursuant to the Creppy
* Assistant Professor, Brooklyn Law School. Very helpful comments on an early draft
of this Article were provided by Ed Cheng, David Dana, John Kelsh, Andy Koppelman,
Claire Priest, and Kim Yuracko. Helpful insights on the issues explored in this Article also
were provided by members of my spring 2003 First Amendment class at Northwestern
University Law School. This Article was supported in part by a research grant from
Brooklyn Law School.
IAssociated Press, Detainees' Lawyers Trying to Chip Away at Government Secrecy
(Mar. 4, 2002), available   at http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.
asp?documentlD = 15813.
2 E-mail memorandum from Hon. Michael J. Creppy, Chief Immigration Judge, to all
Immigration Judges and Court Administrators (Sept. 21, 2001) available at http://archive.
4 Id. (attachment to Creppy Memorandum entitled Instructions for cases requiring ad-
ditional security).

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