Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco, 17 defense attorneys, Federal Prosecutor Lewis
3 deputy marshals, Mexican Consulate representative,
2 simultaneous interpreters and a few other court officials
There were 75 migrants/refugees and perhaps a couple of long time undocumented Arizona residents on the docket today including 9 women. 49 people were from Mexico, 13 from Guatemala, 9 from Honduras, 2 from El Salvador and 1 from Nicaragua. 6 of the 7 people pursuing asylum were from Central America. 43 migrants were arrested the day they entered Arizona and 31 people spent a total of 78 days in our desert before arrest. Going west to east, 17 migrants entered Arizona near Lukeville, 15 near Sasabe, 1 near Arivaca, 24 near Nogales, 1 near Naco and 11 near Douglas.
This judge has the whole 1325 group, 42 people charged only with Illegal Entry, in the courtroom—all in 5-point shackles. He called up 7 or 8 or 9 or11 at a time, addressed each group briefly and asked two questions to each defendant; (1) ‘Do you understand these rights, the consequences of a conviction, wave your right to a trial and do you enter a plea of guilty to the charge?’ and (2) ‘Are you a citizen of ____ and on May____ entered the US near_____?’ The correct answer to both questions is ‘Yes’ but there are several ways to respond—Sí, Sí Señorio (Yes, your Honor), Así es, Correcto. Today, a defendant speaking perfect English and answering in English said, ‘Yep,yep, yep! And joked with the judge. Another said, ‘Uhuh’.
Judge V. then followed the same procedure with the 1325/1326 having the additional felony charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal except that he took larger groups. I think part of his speed is that he does not stop if someone answers in English or says ‘guilty’ prematurely. He asks compound questions and speaks rapidly. On the other hand he always asks if there are any questions and he brings up things like Credible Fear Interview requests if a lawyer does not bring that up her/himself.
Only one person was dismissed and there were 7 requests for a CFI.
***Veronica Barrera Hernandez 19-27866MP (Atty Luis Parra) from Mexico woul like a CFI but this was not reflected in her I 213. She was separated from her 15 year old daughter when they were arrested near Nogales and wants to be reunited with her to wait for a CFI. Time served.
Elisabeth Yesenia Lopez Tomas 19-27899MP (Atty Mark Willimann) from Guatemala is requesting a CFI (the judge mentioned this, not the lawyer). Time served.
Jose Alberto Eguizabal Moran 19-27903MP (Atty Joel Parris) from Guatemala asks for a CFI. Time served.
Jose Gilberto Martinez Gomez 19-27910MP (Attu Alejandro Muñoz) from Nicaragua is requesting a CFI which is reflected in his I 213. Time served.
Christian Alexander Parrales Cabrera 19-27937MP (Atty Peter Raptis) from El Salvador requests a CFI which is on his I 213. Time served.
Brenda Carolina Chinchilla 19-27945MP (Atty Luis Parra) from Guatemala also wants a CFI which is not on her I 213 and she asks to speak to someone from the Guatemalan Consulate. Time served.
Angel Antonio Leon Castellano 19-27894M (Atty Mark Willimann) from El Salvador will request a CFI. 30 days.
Norma Patricia Baltierra Salas 19-27839M (Atty Peter Matiatos) from Mexico has a recently diagnosed medical condition. The judge advised her to inform the people at core Civic when she arrived. 30 days.
Bairon Fermin Chilel Lopez 19-27906M (Atty Luis Parra) from Guatemala had his arm in a sling and also had an injured leg but was walking. No arm shackles but I can’t remember about the legs. Judge V. asked if anything had been done and he said they put on a bit of a cast but nothing else. He said he was in pain from his arm and also his leg and wanted something for the pain. The judge joked, ‘I think everybody wants something for the pain.’ 75 days.
Victor Thomas Garcia Estrada 19-27907MP (Atty Juliana Ore Giron) from Mexico, tall and movie-star handsome, spoke perfect English and answered in English using idiomatic English and joking with the judge. He was arrested in Nogales for attempted entry. Time served.
33 migrants had the felony dropped and were sentenced to 1590 days of incarceration in a federal prison—most likely a Core Civic prison in Florence. 21–30 days, 3–60 days, 8-75 days, 1-180 days. For most defendants this was their first Re-entry charge. People with repeated Re-entry charges are now being sent to the regular criminal court. This was a way the government has been able to increase convictions without exceeding the limits of Streamline.
Visitors: Two women from the mid-west helping at the Monastery, one woman who may have come down from the Scott Warren trial. One GV Sam.
- Katrina Schumacher