Magistrate Judge Jaqueline M. Rateau, Federal Prosecutor Dean Lynch,
15 defense attorneys, 4 marshals, 2 interpreters ,
a Mexican Consulate rep and other court personnel
75 migrants/refugees/undocumented Arizona residents were on the docket today including 8 women; all in 5 -point shackles. 49 people were charged with the misdemeanor of illegal entry, 1325, and 26 had the additional felony charge of illegal re-entry after removal, 1326. This judge does not mention country of origin or place or time of entry into Arizona. We only heard this information when she seemed to forget, a defendant was having a lot of trouble understanding or a lawyer brought it to the fore. There appeared to be many Central Americans. A few lawyers put an indigenous language on the record, Mixteco and Quiche among them.
Judge Rateau sees defendants 7 at a time. She breaks up her address to them in three short sections and after each asks a question—Do you understand the charges against you, the consequences of pleading guilty and your right to appeal? She asks the question one time then she goes down the line—Mr. Arvisu, same question, Ms. Martinez, same question. The answers are, ‘Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Guilty (Culpable). During the morning session where prisoners meet with their lawyers, some time is spent getting this straight.
4 migrants were dismissed at the start of the proceedings. One of these had a credible fear claim as did a woman charged with the 1325 misdemeanor of illegal entry.
Angelica Gutierrez Campos 19-22998MP (Atty Juliana Ore-Giron) has a fear of returning home. Her lawyer had contacted an immigration attorney and was vocal about getting this on the record. Dismisssed.
Alma Patricia Gonzalez Ixcamparic 19-22962MP (Atty Paul Breshears) has fear of return to her home country. Mr. Breshears asked that she be allowed to carry his card with a phone number of legal? Assistance. He was sending a signed declaration asking ICE to help and had contacted the Florence Project. Judge R. said the marshals did not allow prisoners to carry anything because some people had been trying to flush petitions down the toilets and that had caused plumbing problems. Time served.
Mr. Breshears is one of several attorneys who go to extraordinary lengths to make sure their client’s wishes get to the proper destinations.
Audilo Perez Lopez 19-22953M (Atty George Soltero) was not there when he was called. This was the second instance of a prisoner out of the calendar order and she asked that he be found as this was confusing to her. During the 3 minute wait she talked with the clerk and a lawyer of her time as a ‘cookie mom’ with the Girl Scouts. Mr. Perez entered in a wheel chair and was in a lot of pain. She asked if he wanted to put this hearing off and whether he was on pain meds. He was not and he wanted to proceed as he had told his lawyer earlier. He entered at Lukeville and was sentenced to 30 days. His lawyer later told us that just as he had crossed into Arizona he was attacked be the Mexican ‘mafia’ because he had not paid the $500 fee. His foot was broken, he had stitches on his head, and was in a great deal of pain (el dolor me está chingando mucho). His lawyer told us he had not said this in court because there was a chance ‘coyotes’ might be among the defendants.
Eli Sanchez Vasquez 19-22965M (Atty Grace Goodman) was arrested on February 5th near Lukeville. He had pleaded guilty but his lawyer then conferred with the prosecutor, his plea was vacated and his case dismissed.
Isabel Sanchez Silva 19-22999M (Atty Fernanda Muñoz) had been burned while attempting to enter Arizona with her husband on a freight train though Nogales. 30 days.
Oscar Aleman Torres 19-22983M (Atty Daniel Anderson) had been sentenced to 30 days but his lawyer had it reduced to 15. He had an admittance test at the University of Durango in March and had just come to make a little money before then. 15 days.
24 prisoners in the 1325/26 group were sentenced to 1080 days—most likely in Core Civic prisons. 18 were sentenced to 30 days which means this was the first time they had been arrested crossing into the U.S.
Observers, visitors: Natalie from Borderlinks with 15 folks from Westminster Presbyterian in California, a visitor alone and one GV Sam.
Atty George Soltero spoke to us for a while after the hearing. When asked what he could give his clients he said, ‘A little bit of dignity, some answers and a friendly face’. He was asked about illegal entry; ‘These guys have given up hope of doing it the right way’.