Magistrate Lynnette Kimmins
Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Criminal Justice Attorneys: 16
Federal Public Defenders: 2
Mexican Consul Representative
Samaritans: Sara Busey, Cenny Swacha
Visitors: Family of migrant being tried.
Of the 75 migrants, 27 were first-time crossers. One was Cruz Martin-Ramirez, who having mixed up his “si’s” and “no’s,” was asked to sit down with his lawyer. After observing court procedure for an hour, he was brought back up before the magistrate. His “si’s” and “no’s” were in the right order this time, but still had trouble answering that he was from Guatemala. Guilty. Time Served. (I am surprised neither Kimmins nor his lawyer Solares asked Mr. Lewis for a dismissal based on lack of language comprehension. Four other first-time crossers were dismissed at the beginning of court.)
Prior to court beginning, I was able to locate and alert Natalie Haywood, the lawyer of Maria Eva Verdin Montes (19-26893M), to come speak with her family in the audience. Maria was due for prison time, but after speaking with the federal prosecutor, Haywood managed to get her case rescheduled to May 20th, 2pm. She was detained, having “no ties to the community.” (Really?)
Lawyers for two migrants said they wanted to withdraw their credible fear claims. No other claims.
An unusual number of migrants—33—were not apprehended right away. Some spent 5-6 days in the desert. Most crossed near Sasabe, then Lukeville with a few near Douglas, Nogales and Naco. Two attempted to cross at the Nogales Port of Entry. (Where was the border patrol?)
Altogether, the 44 sentenced will spend 2355 days in mostly private prisons.
Magistrate Judge Lynnette C. Kimmins, Federal Prosecutor Lewis, 16 defense attorneys,
3 US Marshals, 2 simultaneous interpreters, Mexican Consulate Rep, and a few other court officials
Observers/visitors; 3 adults who appeared to be with lawyer Mokos and one GV Sam
All prisoners in 5-point shackles
75 migrants/refugees and perhaps a couple of longtime, undocumented US residents on the calendar today including 10 women. 43 were charged with the misdemeanor of Illegal Entry—1325--and 32 had the additional charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal—1326. This judge does not mention country of origin but the few mentioned were from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The 4 dismissed and 2 continued were likely all for language and from Central America or Southern Mexico.
32 migrants were arrested the day they entered Arizona. The other 37 mentioned in court spent 148 days in the Arizona desert before their arrest. 19 people entered on April 11, a Thursday, and 2 people entered 8 days before being picked up. From west to east, 14 migrants were arrested near Lukeville, 1 near Sells, 38 near Sasabe, 11 near Nogales, and 4 near Douglas.
4 prisoners were dismissed at the start of Streamline and two were continued to await interpreters.
Jairo Ventura Ramirez 19-26637M (Atty Mark Willimann) was continued until May 14 at 3:00 for a Mam interpreter.
Alfonso Mateo Feliciano 19-26671M (Atty Juliana Ore-Giron) was continued until May 10th at 9:00 for a Tlapaneco interpreter—which they may not be able to find. Atty Ore-Giron spent about an hour talking to her client while court was going on. He is 19 and seemed very scared. He spoke more with her in Spanish in the afternoon and was seen by the judge alone at the end of proceedings to see if he could accept his 30 plea today. She decided that he did not seem to have sufficient understanding in Spanish and changed his next court date to the 10th from the 20th so it would not exceed the 30 day sentence he would plea to.
Judge Kimmins told the lawyers that she had all requests in front of her and they did not have to be repeated in court, but 6 Credible Fear Interview (CFI) requests from the 1325 group and 1 from the 1326 group were put on the record.
Beverly Padilla Ramirez 19-26642MP (Atty Greta Vietor) is requesting a CRI and her atty has informed ICE. Time served.
Juan Carlos Guzman Ordonez 19-26644MP (Atty Daniel Anderson) from Guatemala entered the US at Lukeville with his 16 year old brother who was separated from him. He had paperwork with him to show he had fear and was requesting a CFI. This, I believe, was taken from him and the I 213 has incorrect information. His Atty has contacted iCE and is trying to locate the younger brother. Time served.
Katherine De Los Ang Padilla Ramirez 19-26645MP (Atty Nicholas Bischoff) is requesting a CFI and her lawyer said she would like to hear him say this out loud in court. Time served.
Jonathan Anael Maldonado Hernandez 19-26674MP (Atty Wanda Day) from El Salvador does have fear of return to his country contrary to what it says in his I 213. His lawyer has forwarded his request and the corrections to the I 213 to immigration. Time served.
Nesli Fiallos Rivera 19-26700MP (Atty Peter Matiatos), a woman, had false information on her I 213 and is requesting a CFI. Time served.
Lucinda Hernandez Cruz 19-26709MP (Atty Alejandro Muñoz) from Guatemala is requesting a CFI. Time served.
Neftali Ezequiel Coronado Coronado 19-26701M (Atty Guenevere Nelson-Melby) asks for a CFI. His lawyer said he was not asked about the info on his I213 which is false. She asked the court to instruct the marshals to let him keep the paperwork. The judge said it would go on the record but the paperwork was up to the marshals. 30 days.
30 migrants charged with 1325/1326 were sentenced to 1530 days of incarceration in a federal prison.
Two migrants spoke out against their sentences. Hector Dominguez Dominguez had been sentenced to 75 day and felt he should get 30. He had one 1325 conviction 10 years ago which barred him from entry for 5 years. I think he believed the slate would be wiped clean after 5 years and this conviction would be counted as if it were the first. The Judge explained to him that he had the same sentence as others with the same circumstances. 75 days.
Oscar Lujan Fonseca was sentenced to 105 days and felt the additional 30 days were unjust and asked that the sentence be reduced. The judge and Mr. Lewis explained that before, in 2011, he had been deported through Calexico which is in a different sector. Because of that (lateral?) transfer he gets an extra 30 days. She said he could choose to go to trial but the outcome would probably be worse. 105 days.
This judge is the newest judge. She takes her time and is very careful. She has 8 people before her with their lawyers at a time and questions each individually while looking at each person directly.
- Katrina Schumacher
Magistrate Lynnette Kimmins, Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Criminal Justice Attorneys: 13, Federal Public Defenders: 2,
Marshals: 5, Interpreters: 2
Mexican Consul Representative
Samaritans: Sara Busey, Vicki Rapp-Gabrielson
Visitors: Cheverus High School students from Portland, Maine with Joshua from Border Links.
There were 3 excused at the beginning of court. Eighteen were first time crossers and 54 re-entry. Five attempted to enter at Nogales Port of Entry and the rest were apprehended between ports.
Joao Vitor Gomes Martins (19-26532MP) was a first time crosser who was excused due to lack of interpreters. His lawyer Cheryl Blum told me Joao is from Brazil, speaks only Portuguese, and she was able to communicate by calling on a friend in the courthouse to interpret, thus discovering he had a credible fear of returning to Brazil. She is calling an immigration lawyer to meet with him while he waits in detention for a full plane to take him home.
Walberto Wilfredo Peraza-Figueroa (19-26471M), lawyer Solares, is from El Salvador and spent 5 days in the desert. Solares said he had given Walberto “papers.”
Crossings occurred almost equally near Nogales, Lukeville, Douglas and Sasabe. Altogether, the re-entry migrants will spend 2850 days in mostly private prisons, probably in Eloy, AZ. The first time crossers were excused to return to their countries with no prison time, but with a criminal record which will most likely preclude any chance of entering the U.S. legally.
I spoke briefly with the high school students at Joshua’s invitation after court. I thanked them for coming when Maine is so very far from our issues at the border, then asked if they knew why the migrants come. We agreed they come due to fear in their country, desire to be re-united with their family in the U.S, and the need to get a job to feed their family back home due to a drought that has killed their crops.
- Sara Busey
You have to be careful what you bring into a federal courthouse these days. I had my tiny two-inch pen knife on my keychain taken away from me once when I tried to enter DeConcini Federal Court House in Tucson where Operation Streamline is held. The daily fast-track criminal prosecution of migrants began in Tucson in 2008. Green Valley Samaritans attend twice a week as part of our keeping watch outreach.
Recently Samaritan Sara agreed to take seven dozen raw eggs to the monastery asylum shelter in Tucson on her way to Operation Streamline. Road construction delayed her 30 minutes, so rather than leave 84 eggs in a hot car for two hours, she decided to take the eggs into the courthouse. She says she had no trouble getting through security despite jokes about being an “egg lady.” The staff obviously thought there was no danger of guns being brought in via eggs.
While waiting on the second floor with her eggs, however, Sara was surprised to have a young man in uniform rush up to her yelling, “No eggs in the courthouse!” As if she were trying to pull a fast one, he added, “ I know your story, so don’t bother telling it to me.”
Sara left with her dangerous eggs and drove them to the monastery missing Operation Streamline that day. When she arrived at the courthouse the next week, Sara said security personnel showed no signs of recognizing the “egg lady.” She said she had thought of bringing one hard boiled egg to place in the security tray to go through the scanner, but thought better of it. One doesn’t want to play around with dangerous eggs.
- Gail Frank
Magistrate Judge Eric J. Markovich, Federal Prosecutor Lewis, 15 CJA and FPD attorneys, 5 US Marshals and other security, 2 simultaneous interpreters, Mexican Consulate Rep and a few other court officials
5-point shackles for all migrants
61 migrants, refugees and a few long time US undocumented residents were on the docket today including 7 women. 31 were charged with the misdemeanor of Illegal Entry—1325 and 30 had the additional felony charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal—1326. People in the latter category have the felony charge dismissed and are sentenced to from 30-180 days for the misdemeanor.
This judge gives the location and date of entry but not the country of origin. From west to east, 12 migrants were arrested near Lukeville, 3 on the Tohono O’Odham Nation, 14 near Sasabe, 16 near Nogales and 8 near Douglas. The TO sites were New Fields, San Miguel and Topawa not far (as the crow flies but no roads) from Sasabe.
Lately, most of those I’ve seen on the days I’ve been here, have been arrested on the day they entered Arizona. Today only 17 were picked up on the same day and 24 people spent 108 days in our desert. One man entered on January 15, 2018 at Santa Teresa NM and was arrested in AZ on a traffic stop (Ricardo Gomez Flores 19-26205M, Atty Raul Miranda—75 days—requested El Paso).
Mr. Lewis said about half of the migrants today came from Central America—two from Ecuador.
4 people were dismissed at the start of Streamline and one was continued..
Jose Gilbert Pomaquiza Carpio 19-26195MP (Atty Peter Raptis) from Ecuador is an Achuar speaker and seeking a Credible Fear Interview (CFI).
His wife, Monica Maria Lima Mayllashungo 19-26203MP (Atty Peter Matiatos), is also from Ecuador, is a Kichwa speaker and also is requesting a CFI. This was not reflected in her initial paper work.
Maurilio Perez Velasco 19-26175M (Atty Hortencia Delgadillo) is facing the felony charge and was continued until 4/18/19 at 11:00 for a Mixteco Bajo interpreter.
The remaining 27 migrants charged only with 1325 were sentenced to ‘time served’ and deportation—today for the Mexicans while the Central Americans await a group to be deported in a charter flight.
One CFI request put on the record by the judge
Luis Fabian Orellana Rojas 19-26194MP (Atty Corey Simon) entered AZ on April 4 and was arrested near Lukeville on the 8th. He seeks asylum and is requesting a CFI. Time served.
Bayron Matias Roblero 19-26221MP (Atty Daniel Anderson) was arrested on his 18th birthday, the day he entered AZ. There was some discussion on whether he was really 18 but he was sentenced to time served.
A few language preferences were put on the record as well as requests for the Bureau of Prisons. Many of the 1325 group used the formal ‘Señoria’ (your honor) with the judge when answering. This seems influenced by what the first people in line do.
29 people of the plea bargain group were sentenced to 1575 days of incarceration most likely in a private prison contracted by our federal government--$253,575.
Judge Markovich addressed the entire 1325 group of 31 and then the 1325/1326 group of 30. He then called 6-8 at a time before him with their lawyers to answer 6 questions each individually—336 questions today. He put what was written on the papers before him on the record—both CFI, Bureau of Prisons and BP requests. This is unusual. Some judges tell the lawyers they (the judges) won’t mention these issues in open court or leave it to the lawyers.
Observers: About 10 older adults from the Kino Border Initiative with Katie(?), one GV Sam.
Ms. Delgadillo offered to speak to the Kino group. She spoke of…
..the tweaks to the sentencing such as adding days for a person who last time had been deported through CA.
..the deplorable conditions in some holding centers where there may be so little space that prisoners need to take turns lying down on a mattress.
..the need that Spanish speaking CJAs feel to offer the best possible representation to their clients in this circumstance. Today there was an age question and she talked of calling families in MX to check on questions like that. Attys also regularly call families to tell them what is happening.
..the current raise in Central American migration and our part in it.
We were honored at our April 8th meeting to be visited by nine students and five adults from the Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC) from Seattle, Washington. In keeping with the mission of their historic church in downtown Seattle, they wanted to learn more about border issues from a Samaritan perspective. Their questions were thoughtful, insightful, and sincere. Visiting us is how they spent their Spring Break. We were honored by their presence. - Russ Peterson
Magistrate Jacqueline Rateau
Federal Prosecutor: Lewis
Criminal Justice Attorneys: 13
Federal Public Defenders: 2
Mexican Consul Representative
Samaritans: Sara Busey
Visitors: UCC Plymouth Church, Seattle, youth group
Magistrate Rateau inconsistently mentions when they crossed (but not the exact date, rather, “Did you cross during the last 10 days?”) and never where or from which country. Six attempted to cross at Nogales port of entry with false documents.
Her pattern is to ask the first migrant before her a question, then say, “Laura Nanduca-Hernandez to you,” down the line. She does ask all lawyers and migrants if they have any questions before sentencing, but does not look directly at them each time she addresses them.
Of the 75, 6 were dismissed for lack of interpreters, 17 were first time crossers and 42 crossed the second time. After the first time crossers pleaded guilty, Rateau said, “I remand you to the Bureau of Prisons.” (Actually, they are dismissed to ICE either to directly to return to Mexico or to remain in detention until an airplane can fly them to their countries.)
Lawyer Amsel’s client seemed nervous and she sat with him to determine if there was a medical problem. Returning to Rateau, the magistrate sentenced him to time served, but then the interpreter interjected that the client had not been wearing his headset during the conversation between the lawyer and magistrate. Rateau called him back to the bench and repeated everything all over again with headsets in place.
No credible fear requests. One withdrew his and will be released with his wife.
Collectively, they will spend 2610 days in mostly private prisons at a cost to taxpayers of $420,210 ($161/day).
Every Saturday night a homemade dinner is brought to Merilac House, a small Tucson shelter of the Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona. Some of our Green Valley-Sahuarita Samaritans take turns preparing dinners. A couple of Samaritans deliver and serve the Saturday night fare where they can enjoy the company of the temporary residents. It's a win-win situation for all involved. The photo shows Jeannie and Lyle Meyer with Sara Busey preparing a dinner.
Magistrate Judge Bruce G. MacDonald, Federal Prosecutor Zachary Wiest,
16 defense attorneys, 4 U.S. Marshals, 2 simultaneous Sp/Eng interpreters,
MX Consulate Rep and a few other court/corrections officials.
72 migrants, refugees, long time undocumented AZ residents were on the calendar today including 5 women. A pregnant woman was the only unshackled prisoner per the new rule being followed by the marshals. This judge does not mention country of origin or Arizona area of crossing. The Mexican Consulate Rep said there were about 40 Mexicans here today. 35 migrants were arrested on the day they entered Arizona. 5 people entered AZ 4 days before arrest and one person 10 days.
6 migrants were dismissed at the start of proceedings. This is usually because they primarily speak an indigenous language from Southern Mexico or Guatemala and have only a misdemeanor charge. One man was continued.
Juan Bautista 19-25288M (Atty Diana Castillo Reina) a Q’anjob’al speaker, fell off the wall and broke a bone in his back. Dismissed.
Yelson Isabel Sanchez Alvarez 19-25327M (Atty Juliana Ore Giron) was continued until April 8th at 3:30 with Judge MacDonald and had his initial today. His lawyer said he had sustained injury at the hands of the border patrol and asked that a photographer here take photos of the injury which the judge allowed. He will be detained until the next hearing.
The judge addressed all the attorneys. He said he had all requests for the Bureau of Prisons and for Credible Fear Interviews (CFIs) before him and would not repeat them in court though they could if they wanted their client to hear them (actually, he did repeat them several times).
42 detainees were charged only with the misdemeanor of Illegal Entry—1325--and all were sentenced to ‘time served’ and deportation. 6 requests for a CFIs were put on the record in court.
Kelvin Roel Ramirez Padilla 1925269MP does have fear of return to his country though it is not on his I 213 and he says he was not asked. Time served.
Oscar Enrique Ramirez Muñoz 19-25270MP (Atty Peter Matiatos) is requesting a CFI. Time served.
Dilma Mendez Laines 19-25271MP (David Maldonado) is a Mam speaker. She seemed to understand Spanish well enough this morning and is requesting a CFI. Time served.
Rafael Rodriguez Varela 19-25320MP (Atty Alejandro Muñoz) has a CFI request on his I 213 and his lawyer put it on the record again today. Time served.
Pedro Ramirez 19-25330MP (David Maldonado) is requesting a CFI. Time served.
Cristian Mauricio Romero Sosa 19-25337MP (Atty Paul Breshears) does have fear of return though this was not on his I 213. Mr. Breshears has contacted the border patrol and the Florence Project. He gave Mr. Romero his business card with useful phone numbers on it and asked that he be allowed to keep it. Time served.
Prosecutor Wiest requested that Adrian Camacho Borboa 19-25285MP (Atty Daniel Anderson) be sentenced to 30 days because in 2014 he was arrested in Santa Cruz County for possession of 31 lbs. Of cocaine in a vehicle and had served 3 years. His lawyer said there were identity issues including a bad copy of a fingerprint. Time served. This is one of the only areas where an OS judge has discretion. Judge M could have sentenced this prisoner to 30 days or more.
Sheila Inocencia Ricardez Antonio 19-25335MP (Atty Patrick Doyle) asked to speak to Mexican Consulate Rep. She and her lawyer spent a long time with the Rep.
23 prisoners who had the additional charge of Illegal Re-entry after Removal-1326- were sentenced to 1215 days of incarceration most likely in a Core Civic private federal prison.
Luis Maunuel Santiago Rios 19-25267M (Atty Hugo Reyna) had injured his knee during his journey and was advised to seek medical attention on his arrival at prison. His lawyer will call CCA. 30 days.
Carlos Morales Martinez 19-25261M (Atty Nicholas Bischoff) addressed the court at length. He asked for the sentence to be reduced. He said his father had died and he was the support of his family. He owed 70,000 pesos for this trip and he pleaded to be able to be returned to Mexico to work to pay it off and send money to his family. He repeated, ‘Discúlpame, nunca más voy a pisar en esta tierra’. Pardon me, forgive me, I will never again set foot in this country.’ Judge M replied that there were many defendants in the court today who had similar experiences. He could drop the plea and allow Mr. Morales to go to trial but he could not modify the sentence. Mr. Morales chose to continue with the sentence. 75 days.
Observers/visitors: Borderlinks group of 13 from Chicago Theological Seminary with Alejandro, UA group of about 8 law students, small group from Kino Border Initiative, a couple from Montana volunteering at the Monastery, a student from Oxford working on a research project and one GV Sam.
Judge MacDonald came to talk to the group. He came to Streamline in 2012 and before that did not know about this going on here.
As judge V., he started with encouraging civic participation. If you don’t vote you don’t have a right to complain. He said that the criminal justice has 3 objectives—as a deterrent, as rehabilitation, and as retribution. Does this (OS) process satisfy these objectives? We have many problems (with all the issues here) that won’t be settled in my lifetime (Sad—Judge M is pretty young).
He talked of the 9th Circuit Court. There have been 4 cases where the court has corrected procedure. An earlier one was barring group guilty pleas. The SCOTUS review of the 9th Circuit shackling decision was done of a technicality and did not address the question of shackling affecting due process or presumed innocence. Judge Snow made the final decision to reinstate shackling in Arizona.
- Katrina Schumacher
For some wee ones, it’s a look in the mirror to see themselves looking back and giggling at the their reflection. For some toddlers, it’s the adventure of riding in a car seat for the first time ever and wondering why the other toddler nearby is shrieking at being strapped in. And for some young children it’s wearing the same Mickey Mouse hat for three days in a row as noted by a migrant father regarding his young son.
These are the tales of joy recounted by volunteers at Tucson’s Catholic Community Services Monastery Migrant shelter for asylum seekers. When I take in my donations, I need only walk a short distance before one young man or another, guests at the shelter, offer to help me with my load. In the kitchen, always awash with smiling volunteers cooking, baking, mixing and stirring, I drop off my sandwiches, apples and oranges, maybe hear a thank you on my way out the kitchen door.
It’s not about the thank you. It’s about feeding people; it’s about lending a helping hand in any way we can; it’s about making a difference, about making eye contact with vulnerable people, listening to their stories, touching, offering; it’s about honoring and respecting and looking for joy wherever we can find it. And in return, we volunteers connect to our thrive tribe, and once again we are able to go on, no matter what.
It takes a village. The cavalry is not coming to save us. Whatever we have been able to do that day, make a meal, help a teen find a shirt and a backpack, transport a family to the bus station to get them started on their road trip to family and hope, even smile and lay a hand on their shoulder—it all counts. It’s good for them and it’s good for us, and good for our soul. It’s the right thing to do. We are the “us” we’ve been waiting for.