Judge Jaqueline M. Rateau
13 court-appointed lawyers, Zachary Wiest Attorney for the Border Patrol
Visitors: One Sam, Katrina Schumacher and Louise Williams, a writer from Dublin, Ireland
There were 72 migrants on the calendar today including 9 women. 33 were charged with only illegal entry—1325, and 39 had the additional charge of illegal reentry—1326. This judge gives as little information as possible: she does not mention the country of origin, point of entry into the U.S. or the date of entry. What information that was given mostly came from the lawyers. She saw the defendants usually 7 at a time and her questioning went something like the following—‘Ms. Perez Lopez, I understand you are not a United States citizen and that during the last week you entered Southern Arizona without being inspected. Is that so?....And you Mr. Rios Escobedo?—And you Mr. Reynoso Puac—same question’, and down on the row of the seven migrants. The first in line was the most likely to be confused and this happened a few times.
I looked back to a hearing in August when Judge Rateau presided. At that time she was giving the date and place of entry. We will see if this is just her new policy or something new OS is doing. I find some of her language hard to listen to such as ‘entering without being inspected’ and ‘improper entry by an alien’. The judge has very little discretion almost none when it comes to the 1325-1326 plea bargain group. Does this rather curt treatment reflect the level of due process available in Streamline court or is the more polite demeanor of some judges still in order?
6 people were dismissed at the start of the proceedings with no reason stated.
The lawyers of a few of the 1325 group put credible fear on the record—I am not totally sure of this as it was difficult for me to hear the back and forth. *Victalina Perez Lopez 18-21055MP (lawyer Alfred Islas) from Guatemala, *Bigarne Yamil Meza Lara 18-21062MP (lawyer Benjamin Aguilera) from Nicaragua, *Pedro Guzman Lopez 18-21076MP (lawyer Alfred Islas) from Guatemala.
The Plea bargain group also had some credible fear put on the record.
*Yesli Bravo Perez 18-21045M (lawyer Alfred Islas) from Guatemala requested political asylum. *Santos Godinez Aguilar 18-21056M (lawyer Elena Kay)—credible fear.
*Victor Manuel Baez Mendez 18-21067M (lawyer Magarita Bernal)—credible fear.
*Abel Dionirio Perez Perez 18-21107M (lawyer Ashley Gilpin), a Mam speaker from Guatemala was terribly confused and could not answer the questions despite consultation with his lawyer and having the judge break down the questions.
Finally the judge got upset and said Mr. Perez was not appropriate for Streamline. She asked Mr. Wiest, the federal lawyer what he wanted to do and the case was dismissed after a short lecture from the judge to the defendant.
Judge Rateau sentenced the plea group to a total of 2505 days of incarceration or close to 7 years. At $161 per day, probably in a private prison, the cost to tax payers is $403,305. One estimate had the annual cost of Operation Streamline in Arizona alone as close to 200 million dollars. That kind of money might make a dent in addressing underlying problems affecting migration.