DeConcini Federal Court, a criminal, not immigration, court (1:30-2:50)
Magistrate Judge Jacqueline M. Rateau, federal prosecutor Christopher Lewis , 4 marshals and one extra security.
SHACKLES. 20 migrants with 5-point shackles were in the court at a time; 10 standing before the judge with their lawyers behind them and 10 seated behind the lawyers.
This judge does not mention country of origin or where and when the migrant entered Arizona. The only exception to that were 5 migrants who were arrested ATTEMPTING to enter through the DeConcini gate. 3 of those were in a freight train going through Nogales Sonora into the U.S.
Judge Rateau also uses a script where she describes a small part of court proceedings, asks the first in line a question such as, ‘Mr. Lopez, Has anyone threatened you or made you any promises?” --No--, And you Ms Anaya, same question.’ She goes down the line of 10 without ever repeating the question. She also uses phrases like, ‘Improper entry by an Alien’ or ‘illegal entry wihout being inspected’.
Today there were 75 migrants including 6 women. 26 were charged with illegal entry only—1325--and were sentenced to time served. 49 had the additional charge of illegal re-entry after removal—1326-- and were sentenced to a total of 1960 days of incarceration which is a low number for this large a group. 30 people had a 30 sentence and only one had the highest sentence of 105 days.
This reflects a new wrinkle in ‘zero-tolerance’. Migrants are only being sent to Streamline the first or second time they re-enter. After that they will be charged with the felony and sent to the regular criminal court with their lawyer which will involve many trips back and forth to Florence, much more time and much more money supporting our prison and corrections industry.
Asylum and other issues.
Johnathan Bustillo 18-33663M (Atty Paul Breshears) had fear of return to his home country. His lawyer put it on the record, sent paperwork with him and made the appropriate calls. 30 days.
Edwin Leonel Abrego Muralles 18-33649M (Atty Corey Simon) was in a wheel chair and we did not find out why—not mentioned.
Teleforo Daniel Gutierrez Batz 18-33580M (Atty Mary Kincaid) from Guatemala wanted a credible fear interview. I didn’t see any papers.
Fermin Delcir Ramirez 18-33712M (Atty Corey Simon) has a fear of returning to his country. His lawyer has completed a form.
Jaime Orihuela Vargas 18-33650M (Atty Jessica Ruiz) had not had his medication since being arrested. His lawyer asked that his need for medication be noted.
6 people were charged with attempted illegal entry or re-entry; three on a freight train and three with faulty documents.
I heard only one lawyer put an indigenous language on the record despite there being (according to a lawyer) many Central Americans.
Observers: There were at least 25 observers. Many were from a U of A journalism class with there professor. There were also some anthropology students and a few people on their own.
The U of A group spoke to Attys Lerch and Breshears for quite a while after court. I was on the fringes and did not hear a lot but the talked of the half hour they spent with each client. They questioned the client about family and possible links to the U.S. (derivative citizenship) and tried to explain the points of law in this hearing. They commented on calls to resist OS--’We don’t represent causes, we represent people’ and work to get their clients reduced sentences.
- Katrina Schumacher