Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco, 1:40 - 3:00
15 attorneys, Christopher Lewis Federal Prosecutor
Observers: Pastor Randy and about 70 plus assorted clergy from all over the United States. Amazingly, all were able to fit using the seats in the middle as well as those on the left.
75 migrants were on the docket including 9 women. There were 57 Mexicans, 8 from Guatemala and 5 from Honduras. No country of origin was given for the 5 dismissed at the beginning. 27 people were arrested near Sasabe, 13 near Nogales, 9 each near Naco, Douglas and Lukeville and 1 each near Ruby and Hereford. 10 migrants were arrested 5-6 days after the date they gave for entrance into the country. One woman’s entry date was 9 days before her arrest.
4 people were dismissed at the start of proceedings—most likely for language .
Sergio Melgoza Barbosa 18-32148M (Atty either Fernanda Muñoz or Jessica Ruiz--a substitute) was continued until September 17th at 9:45. Mr Melgoza wanted to request asylum.
The 28 remaining misdemeanor cases were all sentenced to ‘time served’.
The 45 migrants charged with 1325-1326 had no asylum requests.
Robert Oriel Figueroa Martinez 18-32124M (Atty Bert Vargas) from Mexico made a statement to the court. He said he had severe claustrophobia and could not control it. He apologized many times. He said he was afraid if he was incarcerated it might lead to suicide. Judge V. said, ‘your ability to remain unconfined ended when you were arrested’. The judge essentially told him to stay strong. The statement is on the record. Is there any way of finding out where he is and sending someone in to evaluate the situation? 60 days.
This group was sentenced to 2,340 days of incarceration. At $161 per day that’s $376,740 of our tax dollars at work, Several migrants made requests which were granted but the judge can only recommend—the Bureau of Prisons has the final say.
I had on earphones and heard Velasco say just before he came back to answer questions, ‘I’ll be Daniel in the lion’s den’. The questions were wide ranging. Was due process possible in this setting, could he have done something else with the claustrophobic man. How about quotas? Answer; We elected a president who wants increased prosecution. Here we are. Here we are.