Magistrate Judge Eric J. Markovich, 14 lawyers, 2 interpreters, a court reporter, 2 consulate personnel;
one Border Patrol lawyer, 2 ICE guards, 4 U.S. Marshals, a bailiff, 2 Border Patrol and one generic guard
Observers; One Sam and family of three for a client of lawyer Day for part of the proceedings
There were 75 on the list including 5 women. 27 were being charged only with illegal entry and 48 migrants were also charged with reentry. The judge did not mention country of origin. 26 migrants were picked up near Sasabe, 20 near Nogales, 6 each near Douglas and Naco, 5 near Lukeville and 1 near San Pedro (on Tohono O’odham land 50 miles from the border?). 10 migrants were picked up more than 6 days after they said they had entered the U.S.
Now that there are no shackles in the courtroom, migrants are brought before the judge 7 at a time with hands clasped behind their backs (not enforced). There must be a comparable number of law enforcement officers—ICE, U.S. Marshals, Border Patrol in the courtroom. Today there were 13 groups and the judge must repeat the instructions each time which means much longer proceedings. Today the hearing took 2 hours and 40 minutes. This judge speaks very clearly and questions each person individually but the questions would be difficult for someone not familiar with the drill to understand and the system depends on how the lawyers have coached the client to answer once s/he has decided on a plea bargain—you don’t say ‘Culpable’ until the last question.
7 migrants were dismissed at the beginnings of the proceedings with no reason given.
25 migrants charged only with 1325, illegal entry, were given ‘time served’ and deportation. 2 of these had been picked up coming through the port of entry in Nogales. The border patrol lawyer, Christopher Lewis, said that Fausto Baltazar Solorza Nava, 26355MP, had 2 priors but his lawyer Ms. Day argued that they were very old and he got ‘time served’.
The 48 migrants taking plea bargains got a total of 2700 days—about 7 years, half a million dollars to private prisons and many disrupted lives.
Victor Manuel Orrantia Luna 26314M, lawyer Torralba, originally did not want to plea but changed his mind during the court session. 165 days.