Magistrate Judge Eric J. Markovich, 15 lawyers, Federal Prosecutor Christopher Lewis, 1:30-4:20
Observer: GV Sam Katrina Schumacher
75 migrants including 10 women. 40 were charged with only illegal entry—1325, and 35 were also charged with the felony of illegal reentry, 1326, and had been offered a plea bargain. 23 people were picked up near Nogales, 21 near Sasabe, 11 near Douglas, 10 near Naco and 4 near Lukeville. 6 people gave an entry date that was more than 4 days before they were picked up with the earliest date being November 25. I do not have information on those people whose cases were dismissed at the start of the proceedings.
Judge Markovich saw the defendants in groups of 7 except the first group of 4 who were dismissed. All of the 40 migrants charged with only 1325 were given ‘time served’. 4 lawyers put on the record that their clients spoke a first language other than Spanish. It is likely that this is true of many more but if their Spanish is good enough the question does not come up.
*Antonia Ixmata Tahag 17-31260MP (lawyer Victoria Trull) is from Guatemala and expressed credible fear. She is just 18 years old. The judge explained to her that she needs to talk to immigration when she returns there.
*Elder Armin Gonzalez Ramirez 17-31284MP (lawyer Jose Lerma) also from Guatemala requested asylum and a credible fear interview. He had some trouble understanding and the judge took time at the end of that group to go over the process of asking for asylum at immigration.
*Dionicio Gonzalez De Jesus 17-31296M (lawyer Victoria Trull) was seen with this group even though he had two charges. He was given 15 days.
The 35 people in the plea bargain group were sentenced to a total of 1,840 or about 5 years of incarceration probably in private prisons. $296,240 of our tax dollars at work for one day out of four Streamline days in Tucson Arizona representing one out of nine sectors of our southern border.
*Cristobal Suy Perechu 17-31221 M (lawyer Joel Parris) from Guatemala and Walter Perez Velasco 17-31276M (lawyer Myrna Beards) from Chiapas were instructed to sit back down with their lawyers and when they still appeared not to understand were continued to await interpreters. The former was going to get 30 days and the latter 60.
*Arnulfo Alberto Fontes 17-31254M (lawyer Jose Lerma) asked about asylum and credible fear. He was sentenced to 150 days and asked to have time with his wife in the 1325 group, Fabiola Santiago Galeana 17-31258MP (lawyer Joel Parris), to arrange how they will contact one another when his sentence is done. A request from her for asylum was not mentioned during the proceedings.
*Perca Ruby Martinez Delgado 17-31232M (lawyer Victoria Trull) and Gilberto Mauricio Sanchez 17-31235M (lawyer Richard Bacal) are husband and wife. Both were sentenced to 30 days and asked to be housed and deported together.
*Radai Luna Ceballos 17-31288 (lawyer David Maldonado) was very confused even after sitting down with his lawyer. Judge Markovich saw him alone and questioned him extensively about how much Spanish he spoke; where had he learned Spanish—3 years in school; where did he speak it—sometimes with family and friends. The judge deconstructed the questions, asking them in bits and finally got through to the ‘culpable’ and 30 days.
Several people had a first language other than Spanish and several were confused and sat with their lawyers for a while. One lawyer came by and said—These are smart young men but appear confused because of lack of facility in Spanish and lack of experience with this setting and legal system. Her client, from Chiapas, got 30 days.
Billy Peard, ACLU lawyer, just sent an email saying that the Supreme Court has accepted review in the shackles case, Sanchez—Gomez. He says that is bad news considering the court make-up now and we may see shackles back in 6 to 9 months when the court rules.