DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration court (1:30-3:30)
Magistrate D. Thomas Ferraro
U.S. Federal Prosecutor: Chris Lewis
Samaritans: Sara Busey
Visitors: Young Adult Volunteers, Tucson Presbyterian Church
In light of the PBS news today that the US will begin criminally prosecuting ALL migrants entering the US without papers, we anticipate more migrants at Operation Streamline (weekend courts?). Those cities that closed their OS, may also reopen them. Prison corporations must be rejoicing!
Back to today. Of the 75 defendants, 18 were first time crossers and were released to ICE to return to their countries with criminal misdemeanors on their record. Of the remaining, 4 were dismissed due to language difficulties. The magistrate addressed 9 at a time. These included 7 women among the unshackled migrants, half of whom were Mexican and half crossed at Nogales. Most were apprehended within days of crossing, but several were out in the desert as much as a week.
Several defendants were confused, had to talk further with their lawyer, but all eventually pleaded guilty. Jonathan Vladimir Beltron-Rivas (17-29675MP) responded that he had been threatened and told he would be killed if he didn’t leave his country. Ferraro asked his lawyer Homero Torralba if he documented this credible fear, and Torralba said, “Law enforcement has documented the fear.” (Where? At a port? In the desert? Why was he sent to Streamline and not received a Credible Fear Interview with Immigration?)
Alfonso Adnrande-Gonzales had his plea bargain withdrawn because he had violated his 3 year supervised release status for a prior conviction. He was remanded to prison without bail to await a court hearing.
One migrant spoke a Guatemalan dialect, had studied Spanish through the 9th grade, but didn’t understand Ferraro’s questions. The magistrate concluded Marvin was confused by the US legal system and processed him through.
All together, the 50 migrants will spend 3915 days in prison at a cost to you and me of $630,315. Open your wallet, folks. There will be more prosecution, more prison time to pay for in the future.