Magistrate Judge Leslie A. Bowman, 17 attorneys - 1:30 to 3:00
Federal prosecutor Christopher Lewis, 7 marshals and security
5-point shackles are back and will be used in any multi-defendant proceeding by order of the Chief Judge in Phoenix whom I believe is new.
6 men and one woman were dismissed at the start of the session—no reason was given. The rest of the calendar went in order with one page standing shackled before the judge (7 or 8) people, and the migrants listed on the next page seated in a line behind them leaving very little room for the lawyers to squeeze between their clients and the next group. 16 shackled migrants were in the courtroom at a time.
Attorney George Soltero standing with his client Humberto Coraza Galindo 18-33247MP spoke at the end of that group (2nd page of calendar) saying that he objected to 5 point restraint. It went against the discision of the 9th circuit court. He also objected to having a row of shackled people right behind them if they were dangerous enough to be wearing shackles. Judge Bowman said it was an order of the Chief Judge in Phoenix, there was no danger and that was the way it would be moving forward
Another lawyer told me that it would further hinder due process as even more crowding took place, further stress on the clients and less chance for the lawyer to stand by her or his client.
There were 73 on the docket today. This judge does not mention country of origin or place of entry into the U.S. The gentleman from the Guatemalan Consulate said there were about 22 Guatemalans.
26 migrants had only the 1325—Illegal Entry—charge and were given ‘time served’. 47 migrants had the additional charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal—1326.
There was one request to remove a request for a credible fear interview and two asylum requests.
Wesley Araely Xicay Velasquez 18-33263MP (Atty Kevin Lerch) had an I213 credible fear request but did not want to pursue it.
Walter Manuel Carranza Chinchilla 18-33220M (Atty Bert Vargas) from Honduras has a fear of returning home. His lawyer has given him a ‘reasonable’ fear petition and asked the judge to ask the marshals to allow him to keep it. She did. 30 days.
Jerardo Tomas Velasquez 18-33235M. His Atty Joe Machado said the arrest papers his client carried were not stamped but he did have fear for his life if he was to return to his country and that was reflected in the body of the report. 30 days.
Joaquin Alfredo Pinula Baten 18-33264M (Atty Isabel Amsel) entered with his pregnant wife who was taken to the hospital. She has now been released and may show up at Streamline tomorrow. He asked that she be sent to the same facility (CCA in Florence) and that they be deported together. 105 days. It seems unlikely that they will have the same sentence.
9 migrants gave dates of entry into the country more than 5 days before their arrest. Two entered 10 days before being arrested.
42 migrants were sentenced to 2370 days of incarceration. 2 people had the highest sentence of 105 days.
- Katrina Schumacher
At our September 10 meeting, we learned of a new wave of asylum seekers from Central America, one group arriving at the DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales that day and several others, abandoned by their smugglers, recently found at the border just west of Lukeville, in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a very rugged desolate area. The largest group, found Friday near Lukeville, numbered 128, the majority women with children, including babies, and many minors.
Here is the article:
Shura Wallin, reporting about the Comedor (the Kino Border Initiative’s Meal Program in Nogales, Sonora), said Life Straws are being given to migrants with clear intention of trying to cross (in spite of being warned about the dangers). These straws filter bad water making it potable. So far, some 1100 have been given out by the nuns at the Comedor and in Altar. Cost is about $12/per straw. They recently heard back from two migrants, who had been deported back to Mexico, who said the straws had saved their lives in the desert.
- Sandra Rooney
Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco, 1:40 - 3:00
15 attorneys, Christopher Lewis Federal Prosecutor
Observers: Pastor Randy and about 70 plus assorted clergy from all over the United States. Amazingly, all were able to fit using the seats in the middle as well as those on the left.
75 migrants were on the docket including 9 women. There were 57 Mexicans, 8 from Guatemala and 5 from Honduras. No country of origin was given for the 5 dismissed at the beginning. 27 people were arrested near Sasabe, 13 near Nogales, 9 each near Naco, Douglas and Lukeville and 1 each near Ruby and Hereford. 10 migrants were arrested 5-6 days after the date they gave for entrance into the country. One woman’s entry date was 9 days before her arrest.
4 people were dismissed at the start of proceedings—most likely for language .
Sergio Melgoza Barbosa 18-32148M (Atty either Fernanda Muñoz or Jessica Ruiz--a substitute) was continued until September 17th at 9:45. Mr Melgoza wanted to request asylum.
The 28 remaining misdemeanor cases were all sentenced to ‘time served’.
The 45 migrants charged with 1325-1326 had no asylum requests.
Robert Oriel Figueroa Martinez 18-32124M (Atty Bert Vargas) from Mexico made a statement to the court. He said he had severe claustrophobia and could not control it. He apologized many times. He said he was afraid if he was incarcerated it might lead to suicide. Judge V. said, ‘your ability to remain unconfined ended when you were arrested’. The judge essentially told him to stay strong. The statement is on the record. Is there any way of finding out where he is and sending someone in to evaluate the situation? 60 days.
This group was sentenced to 2,340 days of incarceration. At $161 per day that’s $376,740 of our tax dollars at work, Several migrants made requests which were granted but the judge can only recommend—the Bureau of Prisons has the final say.
I had on earphones and heard Velasco say just before he came back to answer questions, ‘I’ll be Daniel in the lion’s den’. The questions were wide ranging. Was due process possible in this setting, could he have done something else with the claustrophobic man. How about quotas? Answer; We elected a president who wants increased prosecution. Here we are. Here we are.
Magistrate Judge Eric J. Markovich, a new Federal Prosecutor, 1:30- 4:05
16 defense attys, 4-5 Federal Marshals and contractors, 4 plain clothes security
There were 75 migrants on the calendar today including 3 women. This judge does not give country of origin. 45 people were arrested near Sasabe, 11 near Nogales, 9 near Douglas, 5 near Lukeville, 2 near Naco and 1 near San Manuel. San Manuel is 115 miles from the border and should be outside the Border Patrol’s area so I wonder about his arrest story. Vincent Lacsamana was the lawyer if anyone can ask him. 7 people crossed into our desert about a week before being arrested.
29 migrants were charged with the misdemeanor illegal entry (1325) and 46 had the additional felony charge of re-entry after removal (1326). One from each group was dismissed at the beginning. This is usually because of language but may be because a person is a minor or seems to have a lack of understanding.
All the 1325 group were sentenced to time served and deportation. 3 migrants asked for Credible Fear Interviews and asylum.
Mauro José Varon (name change to Segovia Hernandez) 18-31206MP (Atty Samuel Washington) had his request for a Credible Fear Interview noted on record. Time served.
Luis Carlos Marroquín Turuy 18-31213MP (Atty Paul Breshears) is seeking asylum and wants a CF interview. His lawyer asked that he go directly to immigration and take the petition and papers with him. Mr. Marroquín left with a file. Time served.
Arnol Antonio Alvarado Cruz 18-31221MP (Atty Kevin Lerch) requested asylum and CF interview. His lawyer asked that he be allowed to take paperwork—he did. Time served.
One asylum request from the 1325-1326 Group
Juan Pablo Perez Rivas 18-31229M (Atty Isabel Amsel) is from El Salvador. His lawyer said that he did not understand his Orantes rights when at immigration (?). He should have CF interview but not before understanding his Orantes rights. **See below for an explanation of Orantes. 180 days.
Alicia Fierro Campos 18-31171M (Atty Saul Miranda) is pregnant—75 days.
No shackles—the defendants were seen 7 at a time. The last group had 4 people and before they were seen the plain clothes security left quickly. There has to be as many security in the courtroom as there are unshackled prisoners--plus one extra--for our protection.
Judge Markovich sentenced the plea group to 2535 days of incarceration or almost 7 years, at a cost to taxpayers (probably including some of the defendants) of $408,135.
Observers: Lois Martin from No More Deaths came with a group of 25-30 clergy and lay UU adults who had been part of the group leaving water in the desert last weekend. Isabel Amsel spoke to the group after OS. One GV Sam.
**The Orantes injunction is a nationwide, permanent injunction that requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to uphold certain rights of Salvadoran nationals in immigration detention.
In 1982, a U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction based on evidence that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) had detained and removed Salvadoran nationals eligible for asylum by using coercive tactics. Among other practices, the court found that there was evidence that INS provided misleading information to Salvadoran detainees regarding their right to apply for political asylum, denied Salvadoran detainees adequate access to counsel and to information about their rights, and placed Salvadoran detainees into solitary confinement without an administrative hearing. After a lengthy trial, the court in 1988 entered a permanent nationwide injunction mandating that the INS provide Salvadorans placed in immigration custody with a written notice about their rights, ensure Salvadorans access to telephones, counsel, and legal materials in detention, and refrain from coercing Salvadorans into signing voluntary departure agreements. Google to find out more.
Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco, Federal Prosecutor Christopher Lewis - 1:30 - 3:00
5 federal marshals, 1 contract security and 3 plain clothes security, 2 simultaneous interpreters and more
There were 75 migrants on the docket including 3 women. 30 were charged only with the misdemeanor of illegal entry (1325) and 45 had the additional felony charge of illegal re-entry after removal (1326).
20 migrants were from Guatemala (a representative from the Guatemalan consulate was there in the morning), 5 from Honduras and 1 from El Salvador. Most of the rest were from Mexico. 7 men were dismissed at the beginning and 1 continued to await a Nahuatl interpreter. We did not hear their country of origin.
32 migrants were arrested near Sasabe, 16 near Nogales, 11 near Naco, 2 near Douglas and 1 each near Lukeville and Ruby. The rest were dismissed or I did not hear. 5 people spent between 5 and 7 days in the desert before arrest.
The 27 illegal entry defendants remaining were sentenced to time served. Three people asked for a Credible Fear interview.
*Rigoberto Calderon Villeda 18-30829MP (Atty Richard Bacal) from Honduras was given a petition. Atty Bacal noted giving his client a legal form, put it on the record and asked that he be allowed to keep it. Time served.
*David Enrique Munoz Lopez 18-30830MP (Atty Daniel Anderson) from El Salvador was also given a petition and his lawyer asked that he be allowed to retain it.Time served.
*Rolando Mendoza Ramirez 18-30840MP (Atty David Valadez) from Guatemala requested a Credible Fear interview. His lawyer put this on the record but gave him no papers. Time served.
The plea bargain group of 40 (after dismissals) were sentenced to 2600 days of incarceration or more than 7 years--$418,600 to support the Arizona prison industry.
Observers: Xavi from Borderlinks with a group of 15 adults from St. Nicolas Parish in the Chicago are, one GV Sam. A group of administrative officers and auditors were on the lawyers’ side. They are checking out various court rooms to see if our tax dollars are well spent. One lawyer told me that they had everyone on their toes.
Judge Velasco came over to answer questions.
Someone asked where he found satisfaction in his job. Speaking to groups is one area. He likes to meet people, answering questions about what they are seeing and urging them to vote and get active if they want to make changes.
On the irony of the job—We celebrate pioneer days and people travelling unchartered country as this country was settled. We don’t value some of the toughness and courage we see here.
Many of the people we see are poor people who don’t have responsive governments. Part of the reason the governments are not responsive is that we haven’t wanted them to be. We have a history of Banana Republic thinking.
Someone asked Judge Velasco what was the differnce between him and other judges. He said, If another judge was here today, court would still be in session.
My poor brain has not done justice to what he said—I either need a tape recorder or to learn shorthand.
July 16, 2018 1:30-3:00
Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco, Christopher Lewis Prosecutor, 17 Attys, 4 Federal Marshals, 1 Contractor and 3 plainclothes security—must have one more security that unshackled defendants.
Observers: Lois Martin and a visitor from SC, one GV Sam
There were 75 migrants today including 7 women. 40 migrants were from Mexico, 24 from Guatemala, 5 from Honduras and 1 from Ecuador.
25 people were arrested near Sasabe, 16 near Douglas, 13 near Nogales (one at the Port), 7 near Lukeville, 6 near Naco and 2 near Hereford. 2 people had entered the U.S. a week before arrest and one man entered in April of this year. Judge V suggested that he might have gone back to the border to help someone entering.
No shackles—there will be a decision in September by our district as to whether we will have shackles here again. Phoenix has started to using them again tho they have no Streamline.
35 migrants were charged with only Illegal Entry (1325), 40 had the additional charge of Reentry (1326). 4 men were dismissed at the beginning of the proceedings—this is usually because they primarily speak an indigenous language and have no priors. All the 1325s were sentenced to time served. Two migrants wanted Credible Fear interviews—one from each group.
*Marco Antonio Rios Berber 18-30110MP (Atty Cheryl Blum) from Mexico was afraid he would be tortured and killed if he returned home. Ms. Blum gave him an I213 petition and asked that he be allowed to take that with him. He was given ’time served’ but will be going to Eloy.
*Rony Rivera Mendieta 18-30087M (Atty Jessica Ruiz) from Honduras requested a Credible Fear interview. His lawyer gave him the petition and also a one page legal document that she asked he be allowed to take with him. 30 days.
*Juana Aguilar Paiz 18-30090M (Atty Homero Torralba) from Guatemala was very distraught, sobbing all the way through the proceeding. She continued sobbing when Judge V questioned her alone at the end of he group. Lois asked her atty if she had a child but apparently she was upset by the time she would have to serve—75 days.
*4 lawyers put an indigenous language on the record as their clients first language but said s/he spoke Spanish well enough to understand the consult with the lawyer.
39 migrants were sentenced to 2505 days of incarceration or almost 7 years.
Criminal Consequence Initiative, 1:30 - 3:15 PM
Magistrate Judge Bruce G. MacDonald, Prosecutor Zachary Wiest, 14 CJA Attys, 2FPD Attys
Observers: 2 GV Sams, one Tucson Sam, ACLU Atty and guest, Dr. Brennan—Geogetown professor, U of A student supporting the migrants.
There were 75 migrants on the docket including 2 women. 30 were charged only with illegal entry—1325 and 45 had the additional charge of illegal reentry—1326. Many were from Guatemala but this Judge only gives the date of entry into Arizona from Mexico. 13 migrants entered the country 5 or more days before arrest. 6 people had been in the country, perhaps on the desert, for 10 days. NO SHACKLES. No separation from children was reported.
One Credible Fear
Martin Hernandez Jacome 18-29466M (Atty Ruben Esparza) No petition—just put the request on the record and directed his client to talk to immigration once he was back there. This is a lawyer unknown to me. He appears not to know about the petition or material covered in the workshops—maybe someone could contact him. 135 days.
3 people were continued at the start of the proceedings.
*Juan Chicalan Castro 18-29405M (Atty Mary Kincaid) was continued until 7/19 at 3:30 for an interpreter.
*Luis Miguel Carlos Bernabe 18-29430M (kevin Lerch) was continued until 7/20 for an interpreter.
*Alexis Murillo Figueroa 18-29415M (Atty Homero Torralba) had his initial and then continued until 7/18 at 9:30—I’m not sure why. Same judge for all.
*3 more migrants were dismissed and an additional man, a Quiche speaker from Guatemala (charged only with 1325) was dismissed when it became clear he was not understanding the questions.
*Daniel Tellez Alvarez 18-29427M (Atty Ruben Esparza) has diabetes and needs medical attention. The judge put it on the record, told the marshal and directed the man to ask for help upon arrival to the detention center. 30 days.
*Santos Vitelia Lobos Ambrosio 18-29446M (Atty Samuel Washington), a Guatemalan woman, was arrested at a Port of Entry and was concerned she might be deported to Mexico and not to Guatemala. If someone is arrested within the U.S. borders they are deported to their home country but she, because she was refused entry at the port, was afraid that rule might not apply. The judge and lawyer assured her she would be returned to Guatemala. 30 days.
*Arturo Penaloza Orellana 18-29479MP (Atty Daniel Anderson) was sentenced to time served but I believe his lawyer said he had recommended the man go to trial, He did not elaborate.
7 lawyers put an indigenous language on the record.
40 migrants were sentenced to 2,910 days of incarceration or almost 8 years. The cost of the incarceration alone is $468,510. Add to that all the loss of income, services needed by American citizen families who now find themselves in need and, of course, no price on the misery.
- Katrina Schumacher
We heard an update on the situation in Nogales regarding asylum seekers. Local shelters are providing humanitarian assistance to the 90 some families still waiting to present themselves to US border officials to request asylum hearings. It's still important to protest Attorney General Sessions' decision that women fleeing domestic violence and families fleeing gang violence are not eligible for asylum. - Sandra
OPERATION STREAMLINE - MAY 21, 2018 (from Laurie)
Today was the first time we heard about migrants in Operation Streamline who had been recently separated from their children. There were six Guatemalan parents, first-time crossers, on the day we heard reported. The parents were distraught and the lawyers and magistrate judge upset. No one seemed to know where the children were or how to expeditiously find out.
WAITING AT PORT OF ENTRY - JUNE 4, 2018 (from Sandra)
Today we heard first-hand reports of the desperate plight of the Guatemalans, Hondurans and Mexicans at the De Concini Port of Entry, women and children and some men, all fleeing violent situations, who are seeking asylum in the U.S. They are forced to live at the Port of Entry while they wait to be processed--only four or five families a day, and parents fear being separated from their children. No official care is given, though volunteers are coming forward to provide food, clothing, simple things like tooth brushes, toys for the children.