The strange justice of separated kids and the immigration court

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In a regular court, a docket would be public and available. In immigration court, the hearing is public but you have to find a source to get you the docket.

In a regular court, the judge might decide to speak to the press. In an immigration court, unless it involves the judge’s union, they cannot.

In a regular court, photographs or a video of the proceedings might be open to debate. In an immigration court, they are verboten. 

The immigration court system presents challenges to reporters, particularly those trying to track down the fates of kids separated from their parents.

It also presents challenges to judges with ICE prosecutors. On Friday, one prosecutor in Phoenix, pressed by a judge to reunite a 1-year-old boy with his family, actually said he was unaware of a deadline and a different division of ICE handled that. (On Monday, it became clear the Trump administration would not meet the court-ordered Tuesday deadline to reunite kids and parents it separated. In a related move, a judge late Monday blocked the Trump administration effort for long-term detention of migrant families.).

In that Phoenix courtroom on Friday, the AP’s Astrid Galván watched an embarrassed judge question how he could ask the 1-year-old Honduran boy if he understood immigration law.

“That child didn’t even really speak,” Galván told me, “other than say the word, ‘agua.’”

Her story of the shoeless boy before the judge turned out to be the most popular of her career. Here’s my separate interview with Galván on how she got that story.

Quick hits

DATA REPORTER FIRED: Award-winning reporter Peter Yeung has been sacked by The Times of London for publishing fake concert and travel reviews on the site to get free tickets.

'AUTHORITATIVE NEWS': That's what YouTube says it wants now. The company announced it would identify authoritative news sources, move them up in rankings and invest $25 million in grants to news organizations looking to expand their video operations, reports Issie Lapowsky of Wired.

NEW LAT LEADERSHIP TEAM: Scott Kraft, who was running day-to-day operations of the Los Angeles Times, has been named managing editor, Meg James reports. CQ and Roll Call editor Kris Viesselman rejoins The Times in the newly created position of chief transformation editor and creative director. Business Editor Kimi Yoshino becomes deputy managing editor, overseeing sports, business, arts, entertainment and lifestyle coverage

WHATSAPP: How the popular worldwide app plans to fight its misinformation problem. “Fact-checking is going to be essential,” it says. By Poynter’s Daniel Funke.

RECOGNIZED: A union at the New Yorker. The NewsGuild said nearly 90 percent of staffers backed the union.

NEW POSITION: Michael Days, former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News and VP-engagement editor of the Inquirer, is becoming the Inquirer’s first VP for diversity and inclusion, Poynter’s Kristen Hare reports. Last month, Poynter hired The Washington Post’s Doris Truong as its first director of training and diversity, and the University of Florida’s journalism and communication school has named Joanna Hernandez, formerly of CUNY and the New York Times regional group, as its first director of inclusion and diversity.

NEW DUTIES: Bobby Ghosh to Bloomberg Opinion. Recode's Kara Swisher to contribute to the New York Times Opinion section.

What we’re reading

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH?: Appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh, a former Bush aide, is the president's pick to the Supreme Court. Democratic leaders pledged to oppose his nomination.

LAST STRAW: Starbucks says it will be eliminating plastic straws worldwide to help preserve the environment, BuzzFeed reports.

On Poynter.org

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Got a tip, a link, a suggestion? We’re trying to make this roundup better every day. Please email me at dbeard@poynter.org.

A hat tip to Kristen Hare, for editing.

Have a great Tuesday.

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