UNITED STATES CITIZENS IN DEPORTATION PROCEEDINGS
with Los Angeles Times
Reporting and Ethics
On April 27, 2018, the Los Angeles Times
on U.S. citizens facing deportation as so-called aliens, a situation
that occurs thousands of times each year, and, paradoxically, is
legally impossible. Co-authors Paige St. John and Joel Rubin misstated and vastly oversold the government data they presented,
failed to link to original
sources, "uncovered" immigration courts terminating deportation orders
for U.S. citizenship cases despite this fact being released months
earlier by another journalist, and relied on other research and
analysis without attribution.
One problem in the recent rush to report on U.S. citizens detained or
deported -- a topic I have been reporting on since 2008
-- is that non-specialists assume
that citizenship is a discernible
fact and that the U.S. government has accurate data on cases when questions arise in
the context of deportation proceedings. Based on
these incorrect assumptions, and a lack of information and expertise, the
apparently authoritative article that contains several fundamental
The article is a case study in how "data-driven"
journalism can turn into junk science and how fancy
graphics become junk illustrations.
characterization of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)
errors in their databases -- "garbage in,
garbage out" -- not only was copied from a screenshot I
selected and pointed out to them from a document I obtained from a FOIA
release, but it
describes portions of their own work as well.
GRAPHIC ON ICE REVIEWS OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP CLAIMS
First, an unknown number of the 8,043 people whom the Times says had cases ICE reviewed
for claims of U.S. citizenship were not
in ICE custody.
Second, for an unknown number of cases ICE
assessed as having evidence or indications of U.S. citizenship
ICE went ahead and sought final orders of removal in
immigration courts, and in an unknown number of these cases succeeded,
meaning that these respondents were
not U.S. Americans, at least
according to the U.S. government whose statistics St. John and Rubin
leave unexplained and unquestioned.
Third, the cases of those who are arrested seldom are reviewed within
48 hours of ICE learning of a claim of U.S. citizenship.
Correspondence from ICE to a journalist from Slate.com reveals the
misnomers in the
label text and analysis.
The ICE official writes: "Some of these 1000-claims
likely raised on the nondetained docket. So their custody status would
not have changed. Also, in some cases we may terminate
proceedings, but in others we may let the case proceed before the IJ
[Immigration Judge] because the claim isn't fully established, though
it is probative."
Either no similar correspondence was shared with the Los Angeles Times
reporters, or it was and they decided to ignore it.
The L.A. Times claims
those in the column on the right are "Americans in custody," but this
Policy not followed.
The chart's label text states the "agency requires a legal
hours." This implies that
the reviews for the cases in the chart are conducted within 48
hours. Why else reference a policy if it's not followed?
ICE internal email shows that this is the exception, not the norm.
official policy to characterize the actual time-frame of these reviews
is like paraphrasing jay-walking laws to describe how people cross
streets in Manhattan. Indeed the policy referenced is not a
or regulation, but an informal protocol for avoiding criminal
civil liability and thus provides less reason than jay-walking laws for
inferring adherence to it.
St. John and
Rubin note in their article that ICE only released a statement and did
not agree to an interview. The reporters received summary data on the
number of cases reviewed and their outcomes, but apparently were unable
to elicit specific operational information about ICE reviews of U.S.
citizenship claims. The authors never actually claim the reviews occur
within 48 hours. Bereft of factual knowledge about the details of these
cases, their disposition, and how they are reviewed, the authors
posted a policy and left readers to make false inferences.
It's not just the label text that has these problems.
The authors write:
2012, ICE has released from its custody more than 1,480 people after
investigating their citizenship claims, according to agency figures.
And a Times review of Department of Justice records and interviews with
immigration attorneys uncovered hundreds of additional cases in the
country’s immigration courts in which people were forced to prove they
are Americans and sometimes spent months or even years in detention."
Internal correspondence shows that even
among the cases ICE investigates and finds evidence of U.S. citizenship,
that is, the cases in the right column, people are spending months and
even years in detention prior to the reviews.
Often these reviews are prompted not by claims of U.S. citizenship but
media inquiries or losing
in immigration court and deciding about an appeal.
right, there's been hundreds of stories about the detention and
deportation of U.S. citizens before the one authored by St. John and
Rubin; this media coverage is part of the story. In their
appear original they necessarily obscured an important part of
the narrative: the numerous stories that have poked ICE
into initiating these more systematic reviews during
the Bush and
Obama administrations, especially following the publication of a law
review article documenting these and posts on these cases
between 2008 and 2016 at http://stateswithoutnations.blogspot.com,
as well as the coverage of this by William Finnegan, "The Deportation
Machine," in The New
(I know these publications had an impact because ICE officials
addressing the problem of ICE detaining and deporting U.S. citizens are
discussing them in email and memoranda released to me under the Freedom
of Information Act. Government and non-profit studies going
back decades show the U.S. government was well aware it was detaining
deporting U.S. citizens. Only after extensive reporting and a
Congressional hearing organized by Rep. Zoe Lofgren in 2008 did
Customs Enforcement pursue policy reforms, lame as these turned out to
the cases in the right bar of the graphic also are among the so-called
"additional cases in the country's immigration courts" the authors
reference, meaning they are the same cases reviewed first by ICE and
then by immigration judges, and are not "additional."
Here are two typical examples.
Investigated Weeks, not Hours, after U.S. Citizenship Asserted
from the Immigraton
Law Practice Division (ILPD) are the ones charged with reviewing US
citizenship claims. Note that this review occurred one day
reporter inquiry, but 3 weeks and two days longer than
allows, even though the respondent had an
attorney who was making these claims.
This tracks what happened with Mark Lyttle in 2009, who was released
from ICE custody in Atlanta only after I posted
about his arrest on my
blog and contacted ICE public affairs. Mark's pro bono
Neil Rambana followed the rules, as did the attorney for the woman hed
in Irwin County, but it was only after media attention that ICE
Claims Investigated Only
after Media Inquiry
On March 7, 2017, after one month in detention, ILPD indicates the
woman will be released from custody. Here is an article
describing what happened in what appears to be this case, though the
author is not the reporter in the correspondence below.
Released over One
Month after Arrest
US cases reviewed as a fraction of deportation cases
wrongful arrests account for a small fraction of the more than 100,000
arrests ICE makes each year."
eyeballing this would assume that the U.S. Americans ensnared are among
to 143,000 ICE
arrested each year in this time frame, though
quite a bit above 100,000.
However, the cases include those referred as
well from Border Patrol or even US Citizenship and Immigration
Services. Thus, the denominator should include these case loads and
would be far higher.
A better benchmark is probably new
deportation cases filed,
about 211,000 to 257,000 annually between 2012 to 2017. Arguably the
number should also include all the
applications for Certificates of Citizenship and also Expedited
Removals, since the ILPD is reviewing these U.S. citizenship claims as
well, bringing the number closer to 300,000 to 700,000 cases
each year for the
The low numbers only reflect the cases ICE or immigration
courts flag and count, have no discernible relationship with the actual
number of U.S. citizen claims.
The email correspondence and reports I've reviewed are from about 2,000
pages produced in response to two requests under the Freedom of
Information Act, one of which is in litigation. (Many of these are
duplicates and hundreds of pages are fully redacted.) I have
not counted all of the cases in the e-mail released because it
is not complete.
That said, I have paid some attention to the time frames of
case filings and correspondence. With the caveat that this is
estimate with zero statistical significance, my best guess is that
90% of cases reviewed for claims of U.S. citizenship are for
those who are in the physical custody of ICE, and that fewer than 25%
had reviews within 48 hours of an arrest.
Caveat: Once I receive all the cases and redactions are removed there
is an unknown
likelihood this estimate will change to an unknown figure.
The estimates are worth mentioning only to the extent that I
can report I have seen enough cases to
know the representation of this data by St. John and Rubin are
In sum, the cases on the left include an unknown number of people who are not in custody,
perhaps 10% (perhaps
not), and among the 1,480 cases on the
right an unknown
number of people are
not U.S. Americans.
Presumably the Los
would not publish a chart under a caption that says, "ICE made
detained and deported some U.S. citizens among those listed here. The
government has no clue about the exact numbers and we don't,
either." However, these are the only truthful claims one can make about
the data. Knowing this, other journalists did not publish
these data with these claims; the Los
made a different decision.
Also, the authors' own analysis is at odds with the data. The
chart reveals an increase between 2015 and 2016, and then a
sharp decline between 2016 and 2017, in the number of cases
ICE is reviewing for claims of U.S. citizenship.
Weirdly, the chart is not interactive, so readers lack exact figures
for most of the years. The data I have from internal
reports for years the Times
does not specify are: 2012 1,314 reviewed, 275
probative evidence; 2013 1325 reviewed, 282 probative evidence; 2014
991 reviwed, 191 probative evidence; 2015 876 reviewed, 168
with probative evidence; 2016 1101 reviews, 169
with probative evidence. Trump took office in
January, 2017. This means that during his first year, the
number of U.S. citizenship claims reviewed actually dropped about
The authors write:
unclear whether the Trump administration’s aggressive push to increase
deportations will lead to more mistakes. "
Maybe more mistakes... But what about the decrease under
It turns out ICE's attorneys also were perplexed by this.
There seem to be two possible explanations. First,
claims are being received but there is a back-up in their reviews and
internal report from ILPD notes for the first quarter of 2017 a
decrease in the number of claims reviewed and an increase in the total
minutes it took to review each claim, from 30 to 51 minutes. It could
be cases remain in the database unresolved.
A more likely
possiblity is that the band-width overload is interfering with cases
entering the system in the first place. In the spring, 2017,
one ILPD attorney writes: "Candidly, given the
attitudinal shift I've seen in some of our OCC's [Office of
in recent months, I
wonder if we may be missing some of these that could come back to bite
us down the road. It may also be a question of increased
workload at the local level given the change of enforcement priorities
and various high-profile operations such that collateral duties like
USC claim memos are falling by the wayside."
A colleague replies, "Agreed--I can [sic] USC memos being pushed to the
wayside in light of the other high profile issues the OCCs are
currently being tasked with."
The guesswork of journalists -- 'maybe these mistakes will
increase if ICE handles more cases' -- is banal conjecture, but the
and hunches of ICE attorneys themselves confronting a falling
trendline of reports is news.
COURT TERMINATIONS AND CLOSINGS
LA TIMES GRAPHIC
Turning to their reporting on the immigration court cases adjudicating
U.S. citizenship claims, the most obvious point is that the reporters
were remiss in their failure
to properly credit the breaking of this story.
Investigative journalist Lise Olsen in July, 2017
published an article in the Houston
Chronicle titled, "Hundreds
of American Citizens End up in Deportation Proceedings Each Year,
Immigration Data Show."
Blithely ignoring the fact they were beat, eight months later St. John
and Rubin write:
a Times review of Department of Justice records and interviews with
immigration attorneys uncovered hundreds of additional cases in the
country’s immigration courts in which people were forced to prove they
are Americans and sometimes spent months or even years in detention."
tuned for when St. John and Rubin review the Hebrew Bible and uncover
hundreds of cases of God killing the first-born sons of Egyptians.
links to the underlying data they used compounds the problem in how
they characterize the results of their analyses. (Paige St. John stated
in an email that they from the raw data the government released
TRAC; typically these agreements prevent subscribers from releasing the
original data, though St. John did not indicate this as the reason for
their failure to make their data public.)
Here are a few of the problems. First, the source of the data and of
the graphic below is not the
Department of Homeland Security. Rather it is the Executive Office of
Immigration Review, a component of the Department of Justice.
the one on the location hearings. This appears to be an
editing problem -- elsewhere the authors state the data are from the
Department of Justice -- no idea whether the authors failed to request
a correction or if the editors refused.
LA TIMES GRAPHIC
Here are some further problems with the representation of the data.
The authors write:
2008 to the start of 2018, judges terminated or suspended removal
proceedings against 880 people whose citizenship claims warranted
First, the cases they are describing are in immigration courts and the
adjudicators are "immigration judges," distinct from federal court
judges, who also may review these claims. (This is a bit in the weeds,
but the article elsewhere describes hearings in courts that are part of
the judicial branch, unlike immigration courts, which are part of the
Department of Justice. The terminology thus is confusing.)
Second, and most importantly, the authors fail to note how many of
these cases are people in ICE custody and how many are respondents
bringing paperwork to immigration court after picking up their
groceries. Some of the cases involving challenges to birth certificates
can go on for years, even over a decade, but the respondents are not in
custody. These cases are an outrage but have an
different impact on people than similar inquiries for those in ICE
the first chart label is "Americans" (sorry, Canada and Mexico) in ICE
custody, it's likely most readers will infer everyone in these other
cases also is locked up, but the authors don't say this and the data I
have suggest they are characterizing detained and non-detained
cases. (There are far more
cases immigration judges terminate or close for those who are
not in ICE custody than for those who are.)
EOIR releases immigration court proceeding data in such a way that the
reporters should have been able to break these numbers out, but
there is no clue in the Times
reporting as to the portion of those who at the time of the termination
orders were in custody, had been in custody but were released
prior to their cases being terminated, or were never in custody at any
there are no "suspended" cases. (If you want to see the original data
and the legal outcomes EOIR uses from an original government release,
please go to the bottom of this
Immigration judges may "administratively close" cases, or ICE may use
prosecutorial discretion and defer seeking a final order of removal in
immigration court. A case may or may not be later reopened.
"Suspended" means "to cause to stop for a period," but since many of
these cases never are reopened this is a poor description.
respondent remains in the United States and acquires a U.S. passport or
Certificate of Citizenship, for instance, and the case is not
re-opened, then the case has not "stopped for a period," but is forever
closed. How many are later
reopenened? St. John and Rubin
the sentence and
overall analyses are mixing apples and oranges. When an
judge terminates a deportation order for a case that at some point had
an adjournment code indicating a claim of U.S. citizenship claim, it
does not mean a citizenship case "warranted investigation."
that someone asserted U.S. citizenship and ICE lost the case.
In short -- okay, the
opposite of that
-- the scant immigration court cases with U.S. citizen
codes are the equivalent of a few pine needles on a Christmas tree ...
Plaza. Without a link to the original data, or more specific
information about custody status, time, the
nature of the claims, and outcomes, as well as legal context
for questioning the government's vast understatement of these cases,
there is not that
to look at. The graphic representing these cases with an
map with numbers and some city names misleadingly suggest otherwise.
For a detailed analysis of
these cases, please go
here. Again, Lise Olsen broke
this part of the story, and more accurately, eight months
before the L.A Times
Understates Real Problem of Citizenship and Deportation
is the real problem with the reporting by the government numbers
deportation. Because my own reporting has used these numbers,
I've felt a special commitment to include caveats about these data.
My purpose, as I have explained previously, was to procure
government data to falsify ICE's repeated assertions that they do not
detain or deport U.S. citizens. Using government reports to falsify
statements by the government is very different than using crappy,
to make authoritative claims about what ICE is in fact doing to people
with U.S. citizenship claims.
As I've published, the data on these adjournment cases are demonstrably
partial and woefully
the magnitude of inaccurate evaluations. After hearing someone
assert U.S. citizenship, the immigration judge could use a code for
"seeks more time for an attorney," and this case will not be among
those EOIR tracks as U.S. citizenship claims. There are many other
reasons that people whose biographies fit the legal definition of U.S.
citizenship and their cases will never show up in tabulations such as
these, a common one is that they do not know they are U.S. citizens, a
point St. John and Rubin acknowledge.
When people say that citizenship law and
law is complex, what they really mean is that governments have come up
with status rules that fail to serve the realities of our lives and
histories. The cruelty of these outcomes elicits legal challenges and
their idiocy produces inexplicable outcomes. It is not a
coincidence that the word "Kafkaesque" appears frequently in decisions
by federal judges reviewing immigration court orders.
Trying to accurately count the number of "U.S.
citizens" detained or deported over a denominator of "aliens" is like
trying to count the number of people in the 1890s who were "White" but
told to sit in the "Colored" train car, or the number of "Germans" in
the 1930s who
were misidentified as "Jews."
said, I've published
an estimate that about one per cent of all deportation cases
are for those with U.S. citizenship and one half of one per
cent of everyone deported is a U.S. citizen. These estimates
are much higher than the government data in the Times article would
suggest and are based on my actual
and interviews, not those of the government.
This type of research among scholars is not so common, though it seems
to be increasing. Alas, political scientists today have
published gobs of research on what people think about immmigrants and
deportation policies, but have very little to say
about the deportation operations themeselves. The
government and elites have paid great amounts of money to
acquire information about our attitudes and behaviors, and are not so
interested in funding research to help us learn
about what the government and elites are doing to us.
To read more about the real meaning of the quandaries of citizenship in
the United States, as well as India, Ivory Coast, Thailand, and other
countries, please feel free to download courtesy of the nonprofit
"Knowledge Unlatched" the well-received
In Question: Evidentiary Birthright and Statelessness,
published in 2017 by Duke University Press.
If Paige St. John and Joel Rubin saw
Years a Slave," a film about a free Black man kidnapped by
slave catchers in 1853, I assume their takeaway would not
about the overenforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and a free pass for
And yet this is the approach the authors take when representing the
violence of deportation:
detentions of U.S. citizens amount to an unsettling type of collateral
damage in the government’s effort to remove undocumented or unwanted
If U.S. citizens detained or deported are "collatoral damage," then
that makes "undocumented or unwanted immigrants" legitimate
of U.S. attacks. The language capitulates to the us-them
mind-set of national sovereignty. The target of all
policies is civilians. All damage is
collateral to other pointless damage.
Indeed the "collateral damage" language applied to citizens
immigrants itself reveals a most insidious collateral damage: the
nation-state's militarized mindset is destroying our intelligence.
PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICS PROBLEMS
The reporters' failure to accurately characterize their data would be
far less serious if they had provided links so that readers as well as
other journalists, students, and scholars could evaluate the evidence behind their claims.
If St. John and Rubin do not produce the original sources, then people must rely on
the Los Angeles Times
statements about the U.S. government data, even though there are no accurate
government data about these events. The government itself
is not even claiming to produce these.
John and Rubin acquired the ad hoc, poorly described data about U.S.
citizenship claims in the immigration courts because they copied an
analysis previously reported
in the Houston Chronicle.
In short, the data on cases reviewed by ICE is inacccurately
described and the data from immigration court adjournments
for U.S. citizenship claims was a do-over with unclear results.
For both, the absence of links to the original sources deprives
readers the opportunity to evaluate the accuracy and import of their
No doubt this enhances the
clicks and prestige of the authors and the newspaper, but it selfishly
from the public sphere rather than enrich it. The authors
made extensive use of publications and analysis of others, most
uncredited. The New
regularly links to its FOIA releases, court documents, and other
original sources, while the article by St. John and Rubin is largely
devoid of these. (The Poynter
Institute and the Society
for Professional Journalists endorse
this practice as well.)
A few days ago, I shared this concern with St. John.
replied that sophisticated readers would know how to obtain
these data. I then stated that one of her own colleagues
revealed that he had not filed a FOIA request in four years.
She asked me to refer the colleague to her and
him of professional miscondcut. (I did not intend to
publish our exchange so am not quoting directly, though I do think it
fair to paraphrase.)
some facts about the Freeedom of Information Act and
journalists, including the Los
First, St. John and Rubin appear to have obtained their data on
investigations on claims to citizenship from a public relations officer
of DHS or ICE; the data on the immigration court cases are from TRAC,
which obtained this through TRAC's FOIA requests. Other data are from
federal court cases, some of which
are public but most of which St. John and Rubin fail to link.
It is useful to state the source because not all government data are
the same. TRAC's co-director Sue Long and I have compared data sets for
these U.S. citizenship adjournment cases. TRAC had cases I did not have
and they had cases I did not
have. (More evidence for the garbage in/out problem with these data and
their inherent unreliability.)
Second, in reviewing ICE's FOIA logs, I noticed I was not the only one
who had to recreate the wheel to figure out data in an Los Angeles
Times article. Someone at the Annenberg School
had requested copies of "all records released to the Los Angeles Times
in the past two years regarding immigration detention facilities in
FOIA Log, 11-2017).
Who thinks it's a good use of investigative time and resources, not to
mention taxpayer money, to make people file FOIA requests and the
government resend it? Maybe if the Los
their FOIA responses in the article the journalist could spend more
time documenting government misconduct or improving the quality of the
story and maybe the new reporting would have assisted reporters at the Los Angeles Times.
Also, the FOIA logs disprove St. John's
self-serving statement suggesting it is the norm for journalists to
file FOIA requests. In the last year only a
handful of reporters from the Los
Angeles Times submitted requests. Moreover, according to the FOIA Project, the Los Angeles Times
just one FOIA lawsuit since the Bush administration.
The reporter who said he stopped filing
requests is well-aware that ICE usually will not release responsive
(I filed my first FOIA lawsuit, pro se, in 2012, and have filed five
additional ones since then, including a recent one with 29 FOIA cases.
Documents from these, which I make available for no charge, have been
used in scholarship by myself and
others, reported on by journalists, and used in litigation.)
Third, it is impossible to reference all the articles, scholars, and
attorneys on whom St. John and Rubin
relied for their analysis. When I published
articles on misconduct in deportation proceedings in The Nation I
regularly quoted analyses from experts and did not paraphrase without
attribution. Good reporting requires revealing their insights, not
me parroting what they told me. Referencing these experts leaves a
trail others may pick up later, as indeed has been the case.
I'm not saying that
St. John and
Rubin copied statements word for word. But if you update an
article with different data and do not credit the person who came up
analysis and broke the story, then that infringes on ownership
an idea. The
article copies analysis I've published on the cases adjourned
based on claims of U.S. citizenship, the success rate
based on presence of an attorney, and the characterization of the
nature of these cases, as well as the history
of ICE statements on this that St. John and Rubin tracked,
including my reporting on on the origination of a hotline for reporting
claims of U.S. citizenship.
Here's the paragraph tracking the information I reported here:
a decade, ICE administrators have sought to end such mistakes. In 2009,
after repeated warnings to agents from top ICE officials and a series
of embarrassing deportations of U.S. citizens, then-ICE Director John
Morton mandated that citizenship claims be investigated and reviewed by
agency lawyers within 48 hours. A hotline was later set up to receive
The link includes links to other reporters covering these events as
well, none of whom St. John and Rubin credit.
Another example of work they used without credit is my analysis of a
webpage from a
USCIS FOIA Manual I obtained through a FOIA request in
is from a document that had never been previously released and is 4,100
The screenshot on the blog post is from an especially
Here's what St. John and Rubin write:
training document for users of the Central Index System, which is
maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, warns of
incorrect or multiple identification numbers, scrambled names,
inconsistent procedures for recording multi-part names common in Latin
and Chinese cultures, aliases, misspellings and typographical errors,
incorrect birth dates and lost records.
in, garbage out,” the document cautions, a reminder that what computer
systems deliver is only as good as what goes in.
They also reiterate analysis
from a 2017 article from the Los Angeles Weekly,
on an ACLU lawsuit over databases, linking neither to the article or
the lawsuit. (Here is the most recent order
on the ACLU website.)
Those familiar with my work remarked on the resemblance,
including one reporter who called the uncredited use of my reporting
and analysis "shameless."
Copyright law does not give one a right to own the facts one cites,
but it does give one a property right in an original analysis of these
facts, and that includes bringing them together in a unique way.
It would be one thing if they quote from the USCIS manual as
part of an article on hilarity in government manuals, and had examples
from other government manuals with quirky observations. But when they
use the exact page I publish and make the same points I make in the
context of reporting on detaining U.S. citizens, that's another matter.
St. John and Rubin did original research but, understandably,
they relied on other experts for ideas how to do this and the analysis
of their findings.
Indeed, they contacted me after reading my widely
cited law review article, "U.S.
Citizens Detained and
Deported as Aliens," which St. John called a "great
spent a long time giving
them advice on how to do the research. Much of the reporting
tracks what I suggested to them, and it tracks what I had done
previously in the law review article.
The Ethics Code
for the Society of Professional Journalists instructs reporters to
indicate when news first is published by other journalists.
St. John and Rubin did not do this. Several of the
they report were covered by other journalists before St. John and Rubin
wrote about them.
When I first contacted them in May, 2018, requesting that they
attribute my work, they did not respond. I let the matter
drop because I did not have the time to document the information above.
I'd also forgotten that I'd assisted them the previous spring. I
respond to a large number of media requests and this one slipped my
When a colleague of theirs contacting me after seeing my work used by
another journalist in an article recently published in the Texas
Observer, I was reminded of the problems with their reporting
decided to follow up.
I requested that they add to the article an clarification stating,
from Jacqueline Stevens contributed to our analysis" and that
they link to the the Deportation Research Clinic
sources website on U.S. citizenship
St. John wrote responses I found rude and dismissive.
Rubin did not reply.
As of Tuesday, September 18, 2018 their editor is reviewing my request.