Judge Lynnette Kimmins , 15 lawyers—all Spanish speakers
I went with Carole Whittaker and we may have been the only observers
There were 33 detainees including 5 women. Three were dismissed as we were entering.
We had talked to the lawyer of one man from Guatemala whose case was dismissed because it wasn’t a true re-entry. A few years ago he was picked up, lied about his age and deported. As he was a minor at that time the deportation did not count and this became like a first time offense.
The 30 remaining prisoners were picked up in Naco--3, Douglas--5, Sasabe--8, Nogales—11 and Lukeville—3. There was no mention of country of origin. 3 people asked to go to Florence and the Judge made that recommendation but that is no guarantee. The Judge was thorough and, unlike my last observation, questioned each person individually.
All together 1800 days of incarceration were sentenced. At 161$ per day, that’s $289,800 that might be spent to help resolve the problems and conditions at work here.
One of the lawyers, Mark Willimann, approached us as we waited outside the courtroom and, after asking me if I was pro or con OS, gave us a lecture on the benefits of Operation Streamline. He started by comparing OS and the Border Patrol activity to traffic police on the road from Tucson to Phoenix and stressing what a fix we’d be in if this route was unsupervised. He thinks that OS saves lives by discouraging at least some people not to attempt the journey again and so reducing the number of lives lost in the desert (of course the activity near border entry areas forces migrants into more remote areas but we did not get into that). He had a lot to say so we pretty much listened to him.
- Katrina Schumacher