WASHINGTON — On Feb. 1, lawyer Monika Langarica was in a San Diego courtroom watching as the Biden administration resumed listening to scenarios on a controversial immigration policy that demands migrants to wait in Mexico while they plead their situation to enter the U.S. That evening, she wrote a series of tweets describing what she noticed.

The upcoming working day, she been given an email from the Justice Department that shocked her: The administration questioned her to delete the tweets. They claimed she violated a coverage in opposition to creating a record of immigration court proceedings and threatened probable criminal penalties if she fully commited “further violations.”

The Justice Office retracted its request and apologized to Langarica right after The Chronicle inquired about the danger, saying further evaluation verified she was not tweeting from the courtroom and thus did not violate any insurance policies.

Nonetheless, the surprising episode lifted many problems, such as Initial Modification problems, challenges of transparency in the usually secretive immigration courts as properly as criticisms of the coverage at the heart of the dispute.

“It (was) stunning, because we are in our suitable to notice these proceedings, we are in our correct to share with the general public what is taking place in these court docket rooms,” Langarica reported in an job interview just before the apology experienced been issued. Langarica is an legal professional with UCLA’s Middle for Immigration Law and Coverage and previously with the San Diego American Civil Liberties Union.