DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration, court (1:30-3:30)
Magistrate Eric J. Markovich
U.S. Federal Prosecutor: Chris Lewis
Samaritans: Sara Busey
Visitors: 6 from the Inter-religious Task Force on Central America from Cleveland; Ann Hughes of Texas attending School of the Americas Convergence.
A smaller number of migrants today considering it was a Monday after a 3-day holiday. Only 5 were first time crossers and the remaining 54 were re-entry defendents.
Two migrants expressed “credible fear” of returning to their home country:
Ricardo Antonio Canizales-Flores (17-30048MP) with lawyer Valadez. Magistrate Markovich reminded him to ask for an asylum interview immediately when turned over to Immigration as he will otherwise be deported.
Byron Reynoso-Perez (17-29991M) with lawyer Lerch. He must request an asylum interview when turned over to Immigration after serving 75 days in prison.
Several migrants seemed confused, sat down with their lawyers before again coming before the magistrate. One was re-scheduled for a later court appearance he was so confused. Markovich said he wouldn’t lose his 30 day plea bargain agreement by doing so.
No country of origin was given by Markovich, but it was obvious some migrants had spent time in the US as they responded in English. Public Defender Deirdre Mokos corrected Manuel Carrillo-Guzman’s record by telling the court he had 3 minor and 1 adult child in the US, all US citizens. (He certainly had ties to our country for over 18 years!)
Most visitors ask why there is a difference in prison sentences. OS lawyers explain it is based on a migrant’s prior criminal record. A 30 day sentence usually means the migrant has no record; a 180 day one may mean serious infractions like DUI, domestic abuse or even the extra cost to the federal government if in the past they bused the migrant ( who had not choice) to Texas for deportation rather than releasing him at Nogales.
The 54 migrants will spend 3450 days in mostly private prisons at a cost to US taxpayers of $555,450.