Operation Streamline (0S) News
March 5, 2018
DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration, court (1:30-3:30)
Magistrate: Leslie Bowman
U.S. Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
One Public Defender
Samaritans: Treasure Omdahl, Sara Busey, Steve Teichner
Visitors: 2 Tucson Samaritans, 30 social work and law students from Loyola University, Chicago
All three first-time crossers attempted to enter the US at a port of entry. The three used fake documents, and according to a defense lawyer, could have received a stiffer sentence, but instead were being tried at OS and will serve 30 days. Two re-entry crossers also attempted this kind of entry and will serve the same.
No asylum seekers. No medical issues. No obvious lack of understanding by any migrants. In fact, no migrant nor lawyer spoke in court except for 2 lawyers who explained their client’s primary language was indigenous, but that they understood Spanish well enough.
A huge issue appeared at the beginning of court. Magistrate Bowman could not be heard. A plea to the Marshalls brought action from the Clerk of Court (who is the only one to control the speaker system) and an audible hearing for the audience resulted.
The 72 sentenced will spend collectively 4320 days in mostly private prisons costing you and me $695,520. No country of origin nor point of crossing was given by the magistrate.
Prior to court, Treasure, Steve and I spoke with the Loyola students, describing the history of OS, its operation and our concerns. Later Criminal Justice Attorney Raul Miranda joined to answer questions.
Miranda is of Mexican heritage. He said migrants come to the US because they can’t feed their families and because Mexico is a corrupt country run by 75 rich families.
Q—Why doesn’t the US have a legal way for migrants to come temporarily to work?
A—Temporary workers need a program, but US farmers object because they would have to pay them a minimum wage.
Q—Didn’t US policy contribute to Mexico’s corruption? Aren’t Americans buying Mexico’s drugs and that contributes?
A—The corruption began with the Spanish invaders.
Q—If a parent brings a child, are they tried as a smuggler?
A---No, only if the child isn’t theirs.
Q—Isn’t DHS separating children from their asylum-seeking parents?
A—Yes, as a deterrent to keep migrants from coming.
Q—Is it working? Is OS working as a deterrent?
A—Well, we see fewer re-entries.