Judge Bruce G. MacDonald, 16? Defense Lawyers, Christopher Lewis Federal Prosecutor
Visitors: A group of about 12 from Washington PA and a large group from Border Links
There were 60 migrants including two women on the calendar. 43 were charged with only illegal entry—1325 and 17 had two charges 1325 and 1326—felony illegal reentry. 21 were arrested near Sasabe, 11 near Lukeville, 10 near Nogales, 7 near Douglas and 4 near Naco. This judge does not mention country of origin. Almost all migrants were picked up within a day or two after their stated entry date, one entered about a week before being arrested.
Judge MacDonald saw the migrants in unshackled groups of 7. He cautioned each group that only the person he was addressing should answer the question. He stressed many times today the importance of understanding the rights they were giving up. The defendants are told to clasp their hands behind their backs but today the majority kept their hands by their sides. 9 people—8 from the 1325 group-- were dismissed at the beginning of the proceedings. We did not hear why but often this is a language concern.
Alfredo Bautista Paz (different name on calendar) 18-20526MP from Guatemala (lawyer Grace Goodman) in the 1325 group expressed credible fear and felt that his answers when picked up were misrepresented.
In the 1325-1326 group only one was dismissed. A few lawyers noted a first language other than Spanish. The judge questioned Javier Silvestre Rodriguez 18-20471M (lawyer Saul Huerta), a Mixteco speaker, at length and offered to get an interpreter but ended up finishing the questions and sentencing 105 days.
*Angel Rafael Gonzalez Esquivel 18-20496 is an English speaker and answered in precise English, ‘That is correct’. 60 days.
16 migrants were sentenced to 900 days of incarceration. 7 people were sentenced to 30 days which usually means this was the first reentry charge and no one got over 105 days. $144,900 of our tax dollars at work, mostly to private prisons.