Magistrate: Lynnette Kimmins
Federal Prosecutor: Mr. Lewis
No Border Patrol
13 CJA Lawyers
2 Public Defenders
Samaritans Attending: Sara Busey
Visitors: Sasha Bassett, (Alton, IL) volunteer with Tucson Samaritans, No More Deaths
At the start of court, Magistrate Kimmins instructed the lawyers that it was unnecessary to mention requests for asylum or detention locations as she had a record of them.
In spite of that, lawyer Solares stated that his client Cesia Gezabel Arreaga-Mendoza De Cordova (18-38342MP) expressed a credible fear of return to her country Guatemala. He said this was not noted on her I form. He said he had given her a paper to request a credible fear interview and a packet of information from the Florence Project.
In talking with Mr. Solares after court, I asked if he knew why the magistrate requested lawyers not to mention credible fear requests. He did know, but said he had checked with the clerk before hand and she said to go ahead and speak up.
There is no way to know how many lawyers refrained from speaking up in court due to the magistrate’s instructions.
Kimmis is very thorough. She read rights to each group of 8 before her, then asked 6 short questions individually of each. When a migrant appeared not to understand, she questioned him/her to gauge a sense of their grasp of Spanish. No country was given, but many seemed to be from Central America due their indigenous first language. A client of Isabel Amsel consistently gave the wrong answers even after he had extra time to speak with her. The magistrate looked to Federal Prosecutor Lewis to dismiss him, but Lewis said because the migrant had entered the US illegally just this October, he should be re-evaluated by an interpreter.
Several times Limmins spoke directly to a migrant who had re-entered saying, “Don’t you remember the first time in court that I warned that you could get more prison time if you came back again? That is why you are given 75 days.”
Of the 75 migrants, 32 were first time crossers and 43 re-entry Five attempted entry at Nogales port, 2 of which by hiding on the train. Most were apprehended near Lukeville, others near Nogales, Sasabe and a few near Douglas and Three Points. Most were caught within a few days of crossing, but at least 5 spent a week in the desert. Migrants who re-entered will spend collectively 1815 days in mostly private prisons.
- Sara Busey