OPERATION STREAMLINE (OS) 1:30-3:30
January 14, 2019
Magistrate: Lynnette Kimmins
Federal Prosecutor: Mr. Lewis
No Border Patrol
13 CJA Lawyers
2 Public Defenders
Samaritans Attending: Sara Busey, Jane Shuttleworth, Hank Miguel, Jonathan Best
Visitors: Ithaca College, NY students; Tricie Decker, Red Lodge, MT.
A full docket with 75 migrants. Nine were dismissed due to lack of translators and 2 were continued, one of which requested a bench trial because he didn’t want to be sent home to an abusive father. Seventeen crossed near Sasabe, 20 near Lukeville, 6 near Nogales and 1 near Douglas.
Magistrate Kimmins instructed all the lawyers that credible requests were not to be mentioned in court unless the lawyer desired it. She had all those requests already.
Credible fear/asylum requests, both first time crossers:
Simon Cirineo Yuicela-Mendoza (19-20549MP) from Ecuador. Lawyer Maria Davila. Kimmins took pains to describe all his rights again and said as a first time crosser he would be immediately turned over to Immigration where he could request a credible fear interview.
Eric Alva (19-20576MP) Lawyer David Valadez.
Federal Prosecutor Lewis moved to dismiss Federico Mendez-Sales. His lawyer said his first language was Spanish and he understood the interpreter, but he didn’t understand the legal process.
Sentences were low for the 39 re-entry migrants. They will spend a total of 1320 days in mostly private prisons.
Magistrate Kimmins talked with the Ithaca College students following court.
She said a new policy is to dismiss first time crossers that don’t have Spanish as a first language. Finding an interpreter slows down the legal process. There are so many different dialects within an indigenous language that finding as interpreter with the identical dialect is almost impossible.
“How did you become a magistrate?” which she has been since 2016. They are chosen after interviews and a final appointment by a politically appointed Chief Justice for 8 year, renewable terns. Tucson magistrates currently rotate with Flagstaff and Yuma which have no magistrates currently.
“How can lawyers be sure their client is an adult?” They check the CURP Mexican data base where all births are recorded.
“How do you feel about your job?” I try hard to remember that every one of those in front of me deserves fair and impartial justice, that I am convinced that they understand the process and that what happens today strongly affects their lives.
Lawyer Mark Willimann also answered questions. He insisted Operation Streamline deters future crossers and ended the “game” of back and forth across the border. Numbers are down.
A young women with Kemmins requested that only questions come from the college students. After court I assured her (she turned out to be a legal intern) that if I had been allowed to speak, I would have told Magistrate Kemmins how fair and compassionate she is, one of the best.