DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration, court (1:30-3:20)
Magistrate: Bruce MacDonald
U.S. Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Two Public Defenders
Samaritans: Kathy Stocker, Steve Teichner, Kathy Sevig*, Kristin Baldwin, Kayri Mealy, Sara Busey
Asylum: Luis Fernando Perez (18-22677M) from Guatemala requested asylum. I spoke with his Public Defender Mary Kincaid after court and asked if she had given him a paper that requested an asylum interview to give to ICE after he finished his 30 day sentence. She said, “No, but I put it on the record in court and advised Luis to tell ICE before they deported him. I also asked if there was anything in his folder to indicate Luis had expressed “credible fear” of returning to Guatemala to Border Patrol when he was apprehended and she said no.
Mary said she advises those from Mexico not to ask for asylum as it takes so long to get it. She said she has practiced immigration law. She thanked Samaritans for their work at OS.
A full house today: 75. Three at the beginning were dismissed without prejudice for either a language problem or being underage. We couldn’t hear clearly. The 10 first time crossers were released with only time served after they pled guilty to illegal entry, a criminal misdemeanor. Two migrants with re-entry charges had tried to enter through a port with false documents, while the others had come across in the desert between ports. Most crossed near Nogales and Lukeville
It was very unusual to have so few indicate they could not understand. When it rarely happened, MacDonald broke questions down into single questions and the migrants quickly caught on.
All together, migrants today will spend 4035 days in mostly private prisons at a cost to you and me of $649,635. The Border Patrol’s and Department of Justice’s purpose of imprisoning crossers as a way to deter them from returning is not working. DPH’s Inspector General said as much in a 2015 report.
*Kathy Sevig shared with us her inspirational report of an 8 day “Border Awareness Experience” in El Pasco, TX, and Juarez, Mexico, last November with a delegation of Lutherans and Catholics. It is very interesting to read what is happening regarding immigration in Texas and to see how experiencing immigration first hand can”…open our minds and hearts to the truth of immigration.”
For more information, contact Kathy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.