DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration, court (1:30-4:10)
Magistrate: Lynnette Kimmins
U.S. Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Fifteen lawyers, 4 Marshals, 3 Border Patrol
Mexican Consulate representative
Samaritans: Sara Busey, Steve Teichner
Visitors: Saint Ignatius High School class from Cleveland with Kino Border Initiative
Two re-entry migrants addressed the magistrate. “My father died a few days ago, my wife is pregnant and I have a 7 year old daughter. I came here to earn money to support my family.”
“I don’t want to be here. I came because I need to earn money so my pregnant wife can have a kidney transplant. Her doctor says his hospital can’t do that procedure and the private one is very expensive. Can you reduce my sentence so I can return to earn money?”
In both cases Kimmins sympathized, but said she had no authority to change their sentences.
(Only the federal prosecutor can do that.)
According to the representative from the Mexican consulate, the majority of the 75 migrants were from Mexico. Most crossed near Nogales, 3 at the port with false documents. Only 8 were first time crossers and were dismissed with “time served” to be returned to their countries.
Five were dismissed due to a lack of interpreters. (Their lucky day!)
Altogether the re-entry migrants will spend 4110 days in mostly private prisons at a cost to US taxpayers of $661,710. They and the 1st time crossers all leave the US with criminal convictions that make it almost impossible to return legally. Tucson Operation Streamline is one of 4 still operating along the border, including Les Cruses NM, Del Rio and Laredo, TX.
Magistrate Kimmins has changed her procedure. She now asks the questions to each defendant, breaks them into smaller ones and is not hesitant to repeat when someone seems confused. “Have you been able to effectively communicate with your lawyer in Spanish?” Is a new question she addresses to each one.