Magistrate Judge Leslie A. Bowman, 17 defense attorneys (1 FPD), Federal Prosecutor Zachary Wiest, 4 U.S. Marshals, 2 court interpreters, Mexican Consulate rep and a few other court officials attended.
75 migrants/refugees/undocumented U.S. residents were on the docket today including 13 women (10-1325, 1 dismissed). 49 people were charged with the misdemeanor of Illegal Entry and 26 had a felony charge of Re-entry. This judge does not mention country of origin or Arizona entrance area. 48 migrants were arrested on the day they entered the country. 5 people spent 4-5 days in the Arizona desert before arrest. There are no stats given for those prisoners dismissed.
8 migrants were dismissed at the start of the proceedings. This is usually because their primary language is not Spanish but one usually spoken in Southern Mexico or Guatemala. Most have been charged only with the misdemeanor of Illegal Entry (1325) or first time Illegal Re-entry (1326). Judges have been directed not to seek interpreters for very minor offenders. One man was continued.
Rutilio Gonzalez Eleuterio, 19-24417M (Atty David Aguilar) was continued until March 29 at 10:00 to await a Mixteco interpreter.
Judge Bowman addressed the lawyers saying that she had all requests in front of her and would not mention them in court though they could if they felt they needed to. She said she also would not ask attorneys or defendants for comments although they could make a comment if they wished. This judge sees prisoners 10 at a time so what you have is 10 shackled migrants before her, 10 lawyers behind them and 10 more shackled migrants seated behind them. As she finishes her individual questioning and sentencing she says, ‘You’re dismissed’ and lawyers must speak up as the shuffling exit is beginning.
Several lawyers did put a Credible Fear Interview request on the record though there may have been more. Some were correcting sloppy intake records done during arrest.
John Paul Juela Jadan 19-24394MP (Atty Juliana Ore Giron)--his I 213 had his CFI request and his lawyer wanted it in the record.
Martha Cecilia Canar Llapa 19-24396MP (Atty Tamara Mulenbo)--her CFI was on her I 213 but wants it on the minute record.
Jassan Israel Cobos Guzman 19-24397MP (Atty Peter Matiatos) from Ecuador was requesting a CFI. There were many mistakes on his I 213 including gender.
Andy Josue Romero Orellana 19-24412MP (Atty Daniel Anderson) was not questioned about fear when arrested and will seek CFI.
Francisca Suchite Hernandez 19-24431MP (AttyDavid Maldonado) was not asked about fear but does have and will seek CFI.
Jose Isaias Lemus Vasquez 19-24437MP has fear of returning to Honduras and is requesting a CFI. His lawyer said that in addition to violence in his country he is a part of an activist group speaking out for land rights.
Erik Omar Osorio Melgar 19-24422MP from Guatemala had not been allowed to speak with someone from his Consulate. Attorney Lacsamana was subbing for Alejandro Muñoz but was not in the courtroom when his client was called. The judge asked the prisoner if he was comfortable with some other lawyer representing him. Mr. Osorio spoke up saying he really needed to get back to his family and his country, that he had been away too long. Mr. Lacsamana returned to the courtroom before he was done. He withdrew his CFI request.
20 migrants charged with 1325/1326 had the felony dismissed and were sentenced to 1065 days of incarceration—most likely to be served in a Core Civic prison in Arizona.
Observers: Joanna Williams from the Kino Border Initiative with a group of about 15 students doing a border immersion trip, Two Montanans who had come to see for themselves and had been volunteering at the Monastery and one GV Sam.
Judge Bowman spent close to an hour talking to the KBI group. She spoke of…
-government efforts to increase the number going through Streamline and the push back from Judges, lawyers and marshals. There is a push now to have BIG NUMBERS of immigration prosecutions.
-how people are chosen for Streamline—no juveniles, no more family separations, no very serious charges.
-a judge’s discretion with petty offenses and how after dealing with discussion between the prosecutor and defense lawyers on factors adding or detracting from sentences for the misdemeanor, judges had just settled on ‘time served’.
-the 9th Circuit decision earlier on not allowing group ‘guilty’ pleas and more recently disallowing the use of shackles in the courtroom. Judge Bowman was on the shackles committee and said the judges had some ‘wicked’ meetings. She voted against the return of shackles.
-allowing people to move on after conviction—how long do we have to hold onto this stuff? She described removing the box and also was for a change in bail/bond so people could be released.
Magistrate D. Thomas Ferraro
Federal Prosecutor: Weist
Criminal Justice Attorneys: 13
Federal Public Defenders: 2
Samaritans: Dallas Yukas, Sara Busey, Steve Teichner
Visitors: Three ESL teachers from Omaha, Nebraska; students with Sister Judy of Douglas; and another large student group.
Seventy migrants were on the roster. Seven were first time crossers, 2 were dismissed probably due to speaking only an indigenous language, and the rest received time in prison. Half of the remaining 61 were brought into the courtroom at a time to hear Ferraro read them their rights. Then, in groups of 8 in front of the bench, they were asked the 4 questions, each followed by,” Mr. Francisco? Mr. Cardenas? Mr. Lopez………” Asking the questions only once helped to speed up court. It lasted only one hour.
Attorney Corey Simon told Farraro his client Cirilo Eleuterio Lopez-Ramos (19-24282MP) had been separated from his 2 year old son at the border. He had a prior conviction of domestic violence, which is one of the policy conditions Border Patrol has used to take children away from their parents. But Cirilo did not want to be deported before he was re-united with his son. His lawyer had given Cirilo papers to help him with this and wanted the magistrate to assure him Cirilo could take those with him. Cirilo was a first time crosser and could likely be deported that night. Some confusion involving Weist, but apparently Cirilo could keep the papers.
No credible fear, no one spoke up in court except lawyer Rosemarie Valdez, who often assures the magistrate that her client understood the Spanish she used. (This apparently is to put on the record in case in a future trial the client claims he didn’t understand and thus this sentence should be negated.)
Most were apprehended within a day of crossing with two out in the desert more than a week. Almost half crossed at Sasabe, 10 each at Lukeville, Nogalas and Douglas. Four used false documents to try to enter at a port. About two-thirds were from Mexico, a few from Honduras and nine from Guatemala.
Collectively, the 61 migrants will spend 2995 days in mostly private prisons.
We were reminded again of the extent of the humanitarian crisis on our border as a result of the exodus from Central America, due in large measure to the effects of climate change and the extreme violence in those countries. There are hundreds of people, including many children, waiting in Nogales, Sonora, for an opportunity to make their request for asylum (a completely legal process), but only 10-15 are processed daily. The shelters in Nogales are over-full and the Comedor, where usually 40-80 migrants are fed, have recently had as many as 300-500 hungry people showing up, greatly taxing both their capacity and their food supplies. - Sandra Rooney
Magistrate Judge Lynnette C. Kimmins, Federal prosecutor Lynch, 17 defense attorneys, 5 US marshals and security, a representative of the Mexican Consulate, 2 interpreter and a few other court officials
75 migrants/refugees on the docket today and probably a few were long time undocumented US residents. 49 migrants were charged with the misdemeanor of Illegal Entry. 26 had the additional felony charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal. This judge does not mention country of origin but talking to the Mexican rep and lawyers it seem that a little more than half were from Mexico. After dismissing 9 migrants (8 petty and one plea) Judge K addressed the attorneys saying that she had all the requests for Bureau of Prisons and Credible Fear in front of her and that they would be in the minute records but she would not mention them in open court. She added that the lawyers could speak for their clients and she did ask each time if anyone wished to speak.
Only two women were among the migrants today. 28 people—not counting those dismissed—were arrested on the same day they entered Arizona. Three were arrested as they attempted to enter through a port of entry. 8 migrants spent 6-9 days in our desert before being arrested. This judge phrased it, ‘ I understand that you entered Southern Arizona near Lukeville on February 25, 2019 and you were found on March 5. Is that true?’. Going west to east, 13 people were arrested near Lukeville, 23 near Sasabe, 20 near Nogales 4 near Naco and 7 near Douglas. Those dismissed were probably speakers of an indigenous language and a few lawyers put other—mostly Guatemalan—languages on the record including Mam, Achi, Q’eqchi (or K’iche) and Q’anjob’al
Two requests for Credible Fear Interviews were put on the record though there may likely have been more.
David Lizandro Vasquez Orozco 19-23886MP (Atty Peter Raptis) from Guatemala is seeking a CFI. His lawyer did not say who he had contacted. We know that prisoners are no longer allowed to take paperwork with them. Time served.
Saira Karina Gonzalez Carias 19-23893MP (Atty Bert Vargas) entered Arizona on 2/27 and was picked up on 3/5. Her CFI request was (I think) on her I 213 and her lawyer was advocating for her. Time served.
Neftali Flores Martinez 19-23917 and her husband Jorger Leonel Vasquez Martinez 19-23918 requested deportation together. Lawyer Jessica Ruiz has spoken to the border patrol.
Oscar Ovilla Gamas 19-23891M (Atty Peter Raptis) asked to address the court. The judge told him to wait until sentencing. He said this was his first time entering and felt his case should get ‘time served’ rather than the 30 day sentence he was given. The judge said that different things influenced the sentence and she could not change it but he could withdraw his guilty plea if he wished. He went ahead with the 30 days.
25 migrants were sentenced to 1070 days of incarceration usually in a Core Civic private prison.
Only one person had the maximum 180 day sentence and 18 had the 30 day sentence reserved for people picked up for re-entry for the first time.
Observers/visitors: There was a large group from Borderlinks and another from a U of A class. 7 individuals with 2 GV Sams.
Several people commented on the courtesy of this judge and the attention paid to each defendant. She addresses each group of 8 and questions each person individually as the group of 8 stands before her. Her questions are clear and systematic. She is very careful in questioning people to ascertain comprehension if a lawyer puts an indigenous language on the record. There is a dissonance between her kind behavior and shackles and abruptness of the process.
Magistrate Lynnette Kimmins
Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
13 Criminal Justice Lawyers
2 Public Defenders
Mexican Consul Representative
Amazing! No migrants who could not comprehend either English or Spanish were dismissed! Usually there are 7-10, However, lawyer Kevin Lerch told the magistrate that his client Miguel Angel Gabriel Chen-Caal should not be tried or convicted. The policy of this court is to dismiss anyone who has been tried in another state’s Operation Streamline without any indication of a language comprehension problem but appears to our lawyers to have one, should be dismissed. Lewis wanted to get an interpreter. Kimmins agreed with Lerch. Lewis deferred to her and she dismissed Miguel. (This may be the reason lawyers put on the record that their client speaks an indigenous language, but he understood the lawyer’s Spanish.)
There were 16 first-time crossers; 1 woman among 74 men. Three produced false documents at the port of entry. Many were out 3-4 days, five for 5-8 days and one 11 days in our cold and snowy desert. Together they will fill our mostly private prisons 2865 days.
Kimmins spent a lot of time with David Arturo De La Ree-Valenzuela. He wanted to “ask a question” before he pled guilty. He lost his job in December and came north to earn money for his Mexican wife who was about to give birth. She has no milk or diapers. Kimmins was sympathetic, but said, “you are no different from the other 74 men here. They are all desperate for one reason or another. I cannot help you.” David pled guilty and will serve 75 days. He gave his wife’s phone number to the Mexican Consul’s representative on Kimmin’s suggestion.
Magistrate Judge Leslie A. Bowman, federal prosecutor Zachary Wiess,
16 defense attorneys, 4 US marshals, 2 simultaneous interpreters,
a Mexican Consulate rep and a few other court officials
75 migrants/refugees/undocumented residents of the US were on the docket today including 8 women charged with the misdemeanor of illegal entry (1325). This judge does not give country of origin or point of entry into Arizona but the representative of the Mexican Consulate said there were 42 Mexicans here today. 40 migrants were arrested the day they entered Arizona; 9 entered our desert 4 or more days before arrest and one person had spent 10 days in our cold, wet desert before being picked up.
All prisoners were in shackles except one. New rule; No shackles for pregnant prisoners.
7 People were dismissed at the start of the proceedings. This is usually because they speak an indigenous language and the court has decided not to get interpreters unless the offense is deemed serious enough. Most of these people are probably from Guatemala or Southern Mexico. 2 men were continued to await an interpreter. Both had questions about age and another issue.
Haroldo Anibal Chavez Ramos 19-23400M (Atty Mark Willimann) is a Mamspeaker. He has been continued until 3/14/2019 at 10:00am.
Armando Salis Cabrera 19-23417M (Atty David Maldonado) had his initial and will return to court on 3/7/2019 at 9:45am.
The 39 migrants charged with the misdemeanor of illegal entry were sentenced to time served. Those from Mexico were probably on their way back to Nogales to be deported as court was finishing up. One of those was seeking a Credible Fear Interview.
Maria Asuncion Chillogalli Quille 19-23467MP (Atty Juliana Ore Giron) spent extra time with her lawyer. There was no mention in court of what would be done to facilitate her claim but this attorney is very thorough and spent quite a bit of time talking to her. This was the only Credible Fear or Asylum request mentioned in court.
Maria Vidalia Galicia Vasquez 19-23474MP (Atty Peter Matiatos) from Guatemala seemed confused about her ‘attempted’ entry offense. She seems to have been in Nogales Sonora selling snow cones for a couple of weeks and may have been picked up yesterday walking into Nogales Arizona. What about that. Time served.
Juan Alberto Boyzo Arroyo 19-23437M (Atty George Soltero) is an English speaker and the judge did not correct him for answering in English as she usually would. He grew up here and was deported once before in 2010. Perhaps this prevented him from seeking DACA status. 105 days and deportation to what will be a new country for him.
27 prisoners charged with 1325 and the felony 1326, Illegal Reentry after Removal, had the felony dropped and were sentenced to 1745 days of incarceration; probably in Core Civic prisons—that’s 281,000 of our tax dollars at work, not counting court costs or family loss of income.
Observers/visitors; GV Sams Jane Storey and Katrina Schumacher
A word about the interpreters. There are many Spanish-English interpreters who work with the court. They are able to interpret almost simultaneously during the questioning as each judge has more or less a script they follow which becomes familiar to the interpreters. When the defendant, lawyer or judge makes a statement there may be a slight delay as the interpreter gets the flow of what the person is saying. Some of the interpreters speak very quickly and I think, ‘Thank goodness for the time spent with the lawyers in the morning learning the script’. Some seem to try to speak softly so as not to interrupt the courtroom proceedings. It is amazing that Streamline goes as smoothly as it does.
Magistrate: Leslie Bowman
Federal Prosecutor: Mr. Lewis
No Border Patrol
13 CJA Lawyers, 2 Public Defenders
Mexican Consul Representative
Samaritans Attending: Kris Baldwin, Jo Vogel, Steve Teichner, Sara Busey, Randy Mayer
Visitors: Migrant aid pastor and wife (Italy), Julie Jacobs (Vermont) Robin Gropp (Washington)
Of the 75 migrants today, 46 were first time crossers. They were convicted and sentenced to time served, then deported back to Nogales if Mexican. Others were returned to detention to await a full airplane to fly back to their home country.
No country of origin was given by Bowman, but the Mexican consul representative said 45 were from Mexico. The others were likely from Central American countries.
Eight were dismissed without criminal charges, probably due to language difficulties. Due to multiple dialects within most indigenous languages, no effort currently is being made to find interpreters. Either they understand English or Spanish, or they are dismissed. Two more were dismissed during court proceedings. Three attempted crossing with fake documents through a port of entry. Others were caught by Border Patrol after they crossed over the border barrier. Most were apprehended within a day of crossing, but several were out in the desert during the snow and freezing temperatures 2-3 days, even one man for 8 days. Altogether, those who weren’t caught immediately spent 500 days in the desert, according to Kris.
All together, the migrants will spend 2190 days in mostly private prisons.
First time crosser Emilson Javier Velasquez-Nieto (19-23248MP), lawyer Daniel Anderson standing in for David Valadez, expressed having a credible fear of returning to his home country. If Mexican, he may be deported that night without a credible fear interview or is being held in detention awaiting one. If from another country, he could be awaiting a full planeload to his home country with a chance of an interview.
( I did not get a chance to speak with Anderson.)
- Sara Busey
Magistrate Judge Jaqueline M. Rateau, Federal Prosecutor Dean Lynch,
15 defense attorneys, 4 marshals, 2 interpreters ,
a Mexican Consulate rep and other court personnel
75 migrants/refugees/undocumented Arizona residents were on the docket today including 8 women; all in 5 -point shackles. 49 people were charged with the misdemeanor of illegal entry, 1325, and 26 had the additional felony charge of illegal re-entry after removal, 1326. This judge does not mention country of origin or place or time of entry into Arizona. We only heard this information when she seemed to forget, a defendant was having a lot of trouble understanding or a lawyer brought it to the fore. There appeared to be many Central Americans. A few lawyers put an indigenous language on the record, Mixteco and Quiche among them.
Judge Rateau sees defendants 7 at a time. She breaks up her address to them in three short sections and after each asks a question—Do you understand the charges against you, the consequences of pleading guilty and your right to appeal? She asks the question one time then she goes down the line—Mr. Arvisu, same question, Ms. Martinez, same question. The answers are, ‘Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Guilty (Culpable). During the morning session where prisoners meet with their lawyers, some time is spent getting this straight.
4 migrants were dismissed at the start of the proceedings. One of these had a credible fear claim as did a woman charged with the 1325 misdemeanor of illegal entry.
Angelica Gutierrez Campos 19-22998MP (Atty Juliana Ore-Giron) has a fear of returning home. Her lawyer had contacted an immigration attorney and was vocal about getting this on the record. Dismisssed.
Alma Patricia Gonzalez Ixcamparic 19-22962MP (Atty Paul Breshears) has fear of return to her home country. Mr. Breshears asked that she be allowed to carry his card with a phone number of legal? Assistance. He was sending a signed declaration asking ICE to help and had contacted the Florence Project. Judge R. said the marshals did not allow prisoners to carry anything because some people had been trying to flush petitions down the toilets and that had caused plumbing problems. Time served.
Mr. Breshears is one of several attorneys who go to extraordinary lengths to make sure their client’s wishes get to the proper destinations.
Audilo Perez Lopez 19-22953M (Atty George Soltero) was not there when he was called. This was the second instance of a prisoner out of the calendar order and she asked that he be found as this was confusing to her. During the 3 minute wait she talked with the clerk and a lawyer of her time as a ‘cookie mom’ with the Girl Scouts. Mr. Perez entered in a wheel chair and was in a lot of pain. She asked if he wanted to put this hearing off and whether he was on pain meds. He was not and he wanted to proceed as he had told his lawyer earlier. He entered at Lukeville and was sentenced to 30 days. His lawyer later told us that just as he had crossed into Arizona he was attacked be the Mexican ‘mafia’ because he had not paid the $500 fee. His foot was broken, he had stitches on his head, and was in a great deal of pain (el dolor me está chingando mucho). His lawyer told us he had not said this in court because there was a chance ‘coyotes’ might be among the defendants.
Eli Sanchez Vasquez 19-22965M (Atty Grace Goodman) was arrested on February 5th near Lukeville. He had pleaded guilty but his lawyer then conferred with the prosecutor, his plea was vacated and his case dismissed.
Isabel Sanchez Silva 19-22999M (Atty Fernanda Muñoz) had been burned while attempting to enter Arizona with her husband on a freight train though Nogales. 30 days.
Oscar Aleman Torres 19-22983M (Atty Daniel Anderson) had been sentenced to 30 days but his lawyer had it reduced to 15. He had an admittance test at the University of Durango in March and had just come to make a little money before then. 15 days.
24 prisoners in the 1325/26 group were sentenced to 1080 days—most likely in Core Civic prisons. 18 were sentenced to 30 days which means this was the first time they had been arrested crossing into the U.S.
Observers, visitors: Natalie from Borderlinks with 15 folks from Westminster Presbyterian in California, a visitor alone and one GV Sam.
Atty George Soltero spoke to us for a while after the hearing. When asked what he could give his clients he said, ‘A little bit of dignity, some answers and a friendly face’. He was asked about illegal entry; ‘These guys have given up hope of doing it the right way’.
"They just kept coming." That's how a member of the Samaritans described the scene last week at El Comedor where she was volunteering. Seventy-five adults and twenty-five children were crowded into the Comedor: seeking safety, finding sustenance, and enjoying fellowship. Most were from Guerrero, Mexico, a change from previous weeks, but like all the rest, they were fleeing poverty, violence, and the control of gangs and cartels. - Russ and Rita
Magistrate Judge Leslie A. Bowman,
Federal Prosecutor Zachary Wiess, 17 defense attorneys (2 FPD), 4 US Marshals.
2 interpreters, a Mexican Consulate Rep and other court personnel.
75 migrants/refugees/US residents on the docket today including 6 women. 55 people were charged only with Illegal Entry (1325) and 20 had the additional felony charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal (1326)).
About 20 prisoners were in the courtroom at any one time, all in 5-point shackles. This group arrived here before 9:00 this morning in shackles for time in this courtroom with their lawyers, are unshackled in cells during lunch, shackled again for court and the return trip to detention or the border. Those Mexicans being deported today are unshackled at the border.
This judge does not give any information about country of origin or place of entry into Arizona. The Mexican Consulate Rep said there were 47 Mexicans. We heard from lawyers who had clients from Ecuador, Honduras and El Salvador. 39 out of 63 migrants were arrested the day they entered—we get no information about those who are dismissed or continued. 2 migrants entered our Arizona desert 10 days before arrest.
12 people were dismissed without prejudice at the start of the proceedings. These are usually people from Guatemala and Southern Mexico whose primary language is not Spanish. Other reasons for dismissal are questions of age and lack of understanding. Two were continued.
Rosalio Gonzalez Ramirez 19-22581M (Atty Grace Goodman) was continued (I didn´t get the date), had his initial and detained.
Mario Martinez Arizqueta 19-22605M (Atty Diana Castillo-Reina) was continued until 2/25 at 9:45. He was not accepting the plea and his attorney supports this. He had his initial appearance and was detained. At one point Judge B was confused and advised Mr. Martinez that he could be held for 20 years. Ms. Castillo-Reina asked the judge to restate that so as not to scare her client (2 not 20). The defendant had family members who are gravely ill and wanted to get out quickly.
Fernando Barrera Maldonado 19-22610MP (Atty Peter Matiatos) was dismissed during the proceedings. He is a Tohono O’Odham tribal member living on the Mexican side of the border. He did not have his tribal ID with him. The defendant wanted to plead guilty to get ‘time served’ and go home but his lawyer wanted him to be seen. The FP, Mr. Wiess, asked to talk to Mr. Matiatos and was instructed by Judge B. to do so—result was dismissal.
This judge tells lawyers that their requests are already in the records she has before her but some lawyers put requests for asylum on CFIs (Credible Fear Interviews) on the record.
Elida America Calmo Sanchez 19-22585MP (Atty Juliana Ore-Giron) was dismissed and is requesting a CFI.
Sandro Gonzalez Galindo 19-22602MP (Atty Mark Willimann) from Honduras is requesting a CFI and his attorney wanted it on the minute record. Time served.
Lidia Cristina Mendoza Mendoza 19-22615MP (Atty Saul Huerta) from Ecuador is requesting a CFI. Time served.
Francisca Esperanza Hernandez Martinez 19-22641MP (Atty Juliana Ore-Giron) from El Salvador disagreed with information on her I 213. She did want a CFI and had asked to see a rep from the consulate. Time served.
Rosario Javier Moreno Cota 19-22636M (Atty Alejandro Muñoz) objected to much of the information contained in his I 213. A good bit of it was wrong but he is not requesting a CFI. They had his date of entry wrong which he remembered because it was his birthday. 180 days.
14 defendants from the 1325/1326 group were sentenced to 1,115 days of incarceration an a Core Civic prison contracted with our government.
Observers/visitors: Myra Lesser and one GV Sam.