Magistrate: Lynnette Kimmins, Federal Prosecutor: Mr. Lewis, 2 Marshals, No Border Patrol
2 Interpreters, 6 CJA Lawyers, Mexican Consul
Samaritans Attending: Sara Busey
Visitors: Laura Stalder, Bill Mollway, & Ann Lacy from Madison, WI; Group from Georgetown U, D.C, led by Kino Institute
Operation Streamline will be held every Friday in the future. Days when naturalization ceremonies are held in the large courtroom OS will hold court in a smaller, third floor courtroom with a maximum of 30 migrants and 6 lawyers.
Only one of the 31 clients was a first time crosser. Camilo De Jesus Portillo’s lawyer Bacal argued Camilo had no criminal record and even if he tried to enter by running through a traffic lane at the port of entry and did speak Spanish, he could not comprehend the complicated legal terms. After questioning by Kimmins, Prosecutor Lewis moved to dismiss.
Joes Enrique Araiza-Armenta was given only 5 days in prison. Both his lawyer Davila and the Mexican Consul lobbied the federal prosecutor to reduce his 75 day sentence because his son was dying in Mexico of leukemia.
No credible fear requests.
Six migrants were dismissed, probably for lack of interpreters. Eleven crossed near Lukeville, 7 near Sasabe, 4 near Nogales and 5 near Naco. Those sentenced will spend 1165 days in mostly private prisons.
CJA lawyer Richard Bacal spoke with the visitors after court. Bacal said:
* Only 1st & 2nd crossers are admitted to OS.
* Those who re-entered have a previous sentence for deportation and it is re-instated so they are again deported but this time without the opportunity of seeing immigration.
* He has never seen the inside of a prison cell. Migrants tell him Border Patrol conditions are much worse.
* Criminal history that predates 1st crossing is not considered in sentencing.
* If client refuses a plea bargain, he sees a judge, not a magistrate, as magistrates don’t have authority to give felony sentences.
* Prosecutor was having a good day when he allowed the 75 day sentence to be reduced to 5. Some days are not so good.
* Bail—OS migrants don’t have right to bail, with some exceptions.
* Lawyers often tell the magistrate their client might have language issues when they believe there is no problem. Why? They want to get on the record, after the magistrate questions their client, that there was no difficulty in understanding. This precludes the client from challenging his due process at a later date.
* Becal has 28 other migrant cases who all would love to go through OS instead of facing much stiffer sentences.
* He urged us all to attend the 9:30 Flip Flop courts where migrants receive the same plea bargain as those in OS.