From the NY Times:
A dispute has erupted over the federal government’s decision to prosecute at least a half dozen illegal immigrants in New York whose status was discovered after a state agency mistakenly provided sealed arrest records to immigration authorities last year.
The state agency, the Division of Criminal Justice Services, later told the authorities that the sealed information was disclosed in error and should not be used “for any purpose,” court documents show.
But federal prosecutors in Manhattan, citing legal precedent, contend that New York’s law permitting the sealing of state cases does not bar the federal government from using such records in investigations. The immigrants, all of whom were previously deported after being convicted of crimes, would be deported again if convicted of illegally re-entering the United States, defense lawyers say.
The cases involved immigrants from Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas. Each was previously deported from the United States, as far back as the 1990s, after being convicted of crimes that involved, for example, drug or weapons offenses.
In the ensuing years, the men returned to the United States illegally, prosecutors said, and were arrested in New York, in some cases for minor transit violations. Those cases were apparently dropped or otherwise not pursued by the authorities, and under New York law, the records were sealed.
Why are these records sealed if they already were deported once before and illegally re-entered? This state is freaking insane!