DWS shuts media out of "List" meeting | Buzz Blog

DWS shuts media out of "List" meeting

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Low income advocates will discuss the infamous “immigration” list with Department of Workforce Services director Kristen Cox, as long as they submit questions in advance. Oh, and no media allowed.---

Next Wednesday, Aug. 25, various low-income advocates will be meeting with DWS Director Cox in a special meeting hosted by the Utah Community Action Partnership, to discuss lingering concerns over the breached information from the agency that was used in the list of roughly 1,300 alleged undocumented immigrants released to law enforcement and the media in July.

While Cox could not attend a previous public meeting, she committed to meet privately, one-on-one, with low-income advocates to discuss the issue. Advocates and advocates only.

An e-mail submitted to advocates contained specific instructions that not only would media be prohibited from attending, but that no other visitors would be allowed. Also, advocates were asked not to raise questions at the meeting but to submit them in advance so questions can be consolidated into “overall themes” and addressed that way.

The meetings would also be divided up into two one-hour blocks. With seating space restricted to 15 per each meeting. With only one person from each organization allowed to attend. Department of Workforce Services spokesman Curtis Stewart says the reasoning behind the brief, closed meetings, with screened questions is just a matter of productivity.

“[Cox] made a commitment to [low-income advocates] that she would have personal and private meetings without having the glare of the media and other people [present],” Stewart says.

Aggregating questions he says is just a more efficient way to respond to all concerns. “It’s just a matter of screening questions as a way of researching the questions,” Stewart says.

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