Judge Bernardo Velasco, 14 lawyers
3 observers including 2 from GV Samaritans
19 detainees in shackles (Tuesday there were about 65) including 3 women
7 people came from Mexico and 7 from Guatemala, 2 from El Salvador and 1 from Honduras. Judge V is one of 2 judges I’ve seen who gives this info.
9 people were picked up near Sasabe, 5 near Nogales and 3 from Naco. All were picked up within the past week.
2 people, Valentina Ortiz-Galvez (20074M) and Ricardo Martin-Garcia (20079M) had their cases dismissed for language concerns.
The judge recommended incarceration in southern Arizona for 2 people. Orvelina Aracely Pablo-Agustin (20087M) and her lawyer Juliana Ore-Giron brought up a credible fear interview (difficult to hear interaction). Credible fear and asylum interviews are available from immigration once the sentence has been served.
Judge V sentenced 1035 days for 17 plea bargains. At $161/day for incarceration costs, that makes $166,635 plus the cost of14 lawyers for 6 hours each, court officers, interpreters and personnel from corrections and border patrol. This is the cost for one day (a day with about half the usual number of defendants) out of 5 in Tucson Federal Court which represents one sector out of 9 along the US/Mexico border. Much of this money will go to private prisons.
We talked to Judge V. after the hearing. He has not seemed to be a fan of OS but notes the lesser time of incarceration with OS and the fact that each defendant has a lawyer. He suggested we look at municipal courts where this is often not true. After the sentences have been served, people from farther south are deported by plane. Once on the plane there is no guard and a person could get off at any stop—Mexico City on—if allowed.
We also talked to Mark Willimann, one of the lawyers, who talked about derivative citizenship. He said that all the lawyers asked three questions. Were your parents born in the USA? Were you born in the USA ? Did you ever have papers to live here? He has found 2 cases of derivative citizenship in the 8(?) years he has been doing OS. Katrina Schumacher