OPERATION STREAMLINE August 12, 2019
Magistrate Judge Maria S. Davila, Prosecutor Lewis, 17 defense lawyers, 5 U.S. Marshals, 2 simultaneous interpreters, Mexican Consulate rep, and a few other court personnel
75 migrants were on the calendar today including 6 women. 41 were charged only with the misdemeanor of Illegal Entry (1325) and 34 with the additional felony charge of Illegal Reentry after Removal (1326). 32 migrants were arrested on the day they entered Arizona. 38 people spent 202 days before arrest. That is a very high number but was what the judge was reading from the papers in front of her. Also, the higher number of days came in groups with a few people in sequence with the same number—for instance 4 men in a row charged with 1325 had said they entered the U.S. on July 28th, 2 with the same last name. 2 more men with 1325/1326 entered on July 28. One of the lawyers told me that perhaps the men confused the date they entered Arizona with the date they started their journey. This judge does not give country of origin or where migrants enter Arizona.
Three men were dismissed at the start of the proceedings and one man was continued.
Eder Mauriciio Bueso Palma 19-32887M (Atty Kevin Lerch) from Honduras was continued for a non-language related issue. He had his initial hearing, pleaded not guilty, was detained and continued until 8/27 at 11:15.
Luis Roberto Diaz Gomez 19-32903M (Atty Samuel Washington) was continued at the end of Streamline when the prosecutor requested he be seen alone. Apparently Mr. Lewis had found some prior charges. No date was set for the next hearing.
Judge Davila addressed the lawyers as a group saying that she had all the requests for the Bureau of Prisons and Credible Fear Interviews on the record and there was no need to repeat them. This makes it difficult to know if there were CFI requests that were not mentioned although she herself put some of the BOP requests on the record during Streamline.
Judge Davila addressed the whole 1325 group—all in 5-point-shackles--together and then called 7 at a time to the bench. She asked each person if s/he understood the charges, consequences, rights (one question) and if they were pleading guilty voluntarily. She then said, ‘I understand that you are not a citizen of the United States and that you entered the U.S. without inspection on ____’. 3 yeses and a guilty.
On the plus side she asked after each group if any of the Counsel wanted to be heard.
Issues—no asylum or CFI requests.
Elizar Gabriel Macario 19-32841M (Atty Enrique Gonzales) had a very tough time with the questions. He sat back down with his attorney, still had trouble and went through questioning (she took her very compound question apart) a third time before being sentenced to 75 days.
Three migrants were arrested for attempted entry; two with false papers and one by train.
Languages mentioned by the attorneys included Mam, Q’anjob’al, Nahuatl and Tarahumara.
30 people had the felony 1326 charge dropped and were sentenced to 1905 days of incarceration in privately run federal prisons (11X30, 3X60, 12X75, 3X105, 1X180). That’s 5 years of wasted time, hardship for many families, and about $307,000 in charges for taxpayers—some of whom were among the people being sent to prison today.
On my own today. Katrina Schumacher