DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration, court
Magistrate: Jacqueline Rateau
U.S. Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Samaritans/Visitors: Kris Baldwin, Kayri Mealy, Gail Balden, Sara Busey, 2 No More Deaths young women volunteers
Of the 75 migrants today, 8 were women, 2 were dismissed due to language issues. Eduardo Perez-Luna (17-21206M)(Isabel Amsel, lawyer) refused the plea agreement, will be charged with the felony of re-entry and has a court date set to defend his innocence. If he fails, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Rateau wasn’t satisfied that Gabino Arturo Luis-Hernandez from Guatemala understood court proceedings. She requested that he be held over for 2 weeks while a Mam language interpreter can be found to test his understanding. (Mam is a spoken by only 8,000 indigenous people in Mexico and Guatemala and one of 287 distinct minor languages spoken today in Mexico.)
Saul Guzman-Nolasco (17-21224M) respectfully asked the magistrate to reduce his sentence of 180 days. He came to work to earn money, he said, for his U.S. citizen daughter whose mother here is unable to earn enough to pay the rent or buy enough food. Rateau said she could not and that if he came back to the U.S. again he could be facing 20 years in prison. (Could Samaritans track down Saul, find out who and where his wife and daughter live and help them financially? one observer asked.)
Lawyer Isabel Amsel reported that her client Pedro Rueda-Aztorga (17-21223M) is in need of medical care. Rateau told him to be sure to ask to see a doctor when he arrives in prison. (Why didn’t she herself send this request to the prison? Other magistrates have requested that a lawyer give his phone # to the migrant who was told to call him if he did not get medical help.)
All told, migrants will spend 5490 days in mostly private prisons at a cost to taxpayers of $883,890. Think of the savings if those who crossed the border today without proper papers were just sent back, as they were 15-20 years ago, without facing prison time and a criminal history that prevents them from ever entering the U.S. legally.
END OPERATION STREAMLINE!