Magistrate Bruce MacDonald
Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Criminal Justice Attorneys: 16
Federal Public Defenders: 2
Mexican Consul Representative
Samaritans: Sara Busey
Visitors: Pamela Kerplus, Founder, Migrants of the Mediterranean; Emma Pontillo, former Kino Border Initiative volunteer
Three first time crossers expressed a credible fear if returned to their country. Their lawyers did not say whether they had papers that indicated this or that ICE had been notified. All received “time served” and could be deported that evening.
Victor Daniel Gomez-Ordonez (19-28189MP) lawyer Cheryl Blum.
Elmer Martel-Diaz (19-28190MP) lawyer Patrick Doyle
Saulo Diaz-Maldonado (19-28205MP) lawyer Raul Miranda. From Chiapas, Saulo didn’t declare a credible fear until he was up before the magistrate.
Of the 75 migrants, 21 were first time crossers and 54 re-entry. Two were continued for interpreters and 5 were dismissed because they could not understand Spanish. Without that comprehension, due process could not occur.
Lawyer Isabel Amsel said Pedro Gomez-Ramos (1st time crosser) needs to be re-united with his child. Border Patrol knows this and soon ICE will, too. They will spend time in detention together before they are deported. MacDonald sternly told Pedro that if he brings his child back again, the chance that they would be re-united would be very slim
Roberto Lopez-Arana (19-28187M) had his felony charge dropped by Lewis without explanation. He was sentenced to 5 days after which he will be deported.
Jose Ismael Acosta-Mata (19-28304M) refused a plea agreement because he was given 75 days when he understood everyone would get only 30 days. After Lewis, MacDonald and his lawyer Huerta discussed the possible penalties involved if he didn’t plea bargain, Jose changed his plea to “guilty” to the misdemeanor.
This magistrate speaks clearly and offers a reasonable, friendly manor to the migrants. However, when a migrant seems confused, i.e. answering inappropriately, he doesn’t spend time to satisfy himself nor the court that the migrant really understands. Nor does he ask if they want to say anything or have a question for the court. Like some other magistrates, he doesn’t give the nationality nor point of border crossing, but is very careful not to continue court unless he is certain every migrant is getting Spanish from the interpreter through his headphones.