DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration, court
Magistrate Eric Markovich
U.S. Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Samaritans: Sara Busey, Shura Wallin
Visitors: Peter Hirschman from Tucson Samaritans leading a dozen young folks with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
There were very few migrants today. Of the 14, only 1 was a woman. Six crossed near Lukeville and 4 near Nogales and most were apprehended the day before, except for Rosario Monreal-Perez who crossed over a month ago. They will spend a total of 1010 days in prison at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of $162,610.
Most interesting was the information Markovich shared when he spoke to the Jesuit volunteers after the short court proceedings. He explained the usual 5 court appearances for those charged with a crime are collapsed into one at Streamline.
Question: “How is it decided who comes to Streamline and who goes to a usual court proceeding?” Lewis replied, "It depends on the prosecuting attorney’s resources as to whether he expands the definition of criminal offense or not guilty," replied Lewis.
Question: “With so few migrants, will Streamline close as have five other Streamlines along the border?” Markovisch replied, “Last week we had only 6 migrants each at two different Streamline days. With the resources given to the court—magistrates, lawyers, interpreters, clerks, etc.—one wonders how long it will continue.”
Question: “Would Streamline again prosecute first time crossers?” Markovich replied, “That’s up to the politicians. When it happened before, most migrants were given time served, no prison time, and sent back to their county.”
Question: Why are so few coming? Markovich replied, “We now have a proverbial wall that has been put up with rhetoric.”
Question: “It is against International treaties to punish asylum seekers. Why are they sent to prison from Streamline?” Markovich replied, “Some don’t express credible fear until they arrive at Streamline. And ICE won’t do credible fear interviews until after they serve their prison sentences.” Lewis replied,“ICE’s protocol is not to give credible fear interviews to those who don’t cross at ports of entry. Those are criminals because they broke the law and are punishable.”