Magistrate Judge D. Thomas Ferraro, Federal Prosecutor Zachary Wiest, 16 defense attorneys, 4 US marshals
(everyone working without pay, I´m told, except the judge and the 2 interpreters.
Two attorneys said that the court will run out of money this Friday.
75 on the docket today. All 48 of those charged with the misdemeanor (1325) were seated shackled in the courtroom when we entered plus 3 of the plea bargain (1325/1326) group who were to be dismissed or continued.
Of the non-dismissed group, 48 are from Mexico, 12 from Guatemala, 4 from Honduras, 2 from Ecuador and 1 from El Salvador. The Guatemalan Liaison said there were about 20 Guatemalans so most of those dismissed were probably from there. Going from west to east, 20 migrants/refugees were arrested near Lukeville, 15 near Sasabe, 21 near Nogales, 1 near Naco and 6 near Douglas. 47 people were arrested the day they entered the country, most within a day or two and 7 about 5 days after entry into Arizona.
Initially 9 prisoners stood before the judge, 2 were continued and the rest dismissed. Most were likely Central Americans dismissed because their primary language was an indigenous one and they lacked sufficient understanding in Spanish. I am not sure which of the dismissed were continued. The head interpreter was she-who-will-not-lend-earphones.
Judge Ferraro does something different each time. Today he instructed the whole 1325 group on the charges, consequences of pleading guilty and their options. Then he called groups of 7, 8 or 9 in front of him. He asked two questions to the group and one question individually.. He would address the first person asking something like, Mr. Sambrano, do you understand the charges against you, the consequences of pleading guilty and the rights you will give up? Then he goes down the line of defendants without repeating the question. The correct answer to each question is, ‘Yes’.
He did the same with the plea bargain group with some variations.
I am sure I did not hear some of what attorneys said to the judge but…
David Daquilema Daquilema 19-21073MP (Atty David Maldonado) from Ecuador wanted a Credible Fear Interview (CFI) and this was put on the record. Time served.
Wilmer Javier Ramirez Tenezaca 19-21084MP (Atty Grace Goodman) was also from Ecuador and also wanted a CFI. Time served.
Bagner Alexander Veliz Gutierrez 19-21089MP (Atty Paul Breshears) asked for a CFI. His attorney said he was sending a signed declaration, had contacted the Florence Project and a private immigration lawyer. WOW! Time served.
Erik Estrada Buenrostro 19-21105MP (Atty Grace Goodman) was in a wheelchair with bad blisters on his feet. He entered Arizona on January 16, near Lukeville. Time served.
Jose Luis Ramirez Vasquez 19-21117M (Atty Richard Bacal) from Guerrero speaks Mixteco but his lawyer felt he understood their conversation. There was some question about his age. 30 days?
24 migrants charged with 1325/1326 were sentenced to 1,305 days in federal prison—most likely private prisons.
The Mexicans dismissed today or sentenced to time served are probably back in Nogales tonight. The Central Americans in that category go to a detention center where they wait in a big room with bunks, two or three weeks until there are enough people for a chartered planeload back to Guatemala City and beyond.
Visitors, observers: Group of 6-7 adults from Ohio who had been to Common Ground, Bob and Sue Ames, Samaritans in Rochester New York, one GV Sam.
- Katrina Schumacher