Bill Montgomery's Victims Plead Not Guilty En Masse as Their Children Weep
Ojeda's children don't understand why their father is in jail. He was the family's sole breadwinner. Now she is trying to get some work to help her family survive.
Puente organizer Carlos Garcia said his group will continue to pressure Montgomery to end his sinister partnership with Arpaio.
"What we're fighting for," he told me, "is for these charges to be dropped, and for ICE not to take these people."
Montgomery's big canard, one he repeats ad nauseam to the media and to his pro-immigration colleagues who are part of SANE, is that he is simply enforcing the law, and that his hands are tied.
This is simply not true. Montgomery has something called "prosecutorial discretion." His office decides what charges to pursue, or whether they are pursued at all, which is why the underage ASU college kid using a fake ID to drink is not prosecuted for forgery and ID theft, as are the undocumented workers.
Furthermore, the MCAO offers plea deals to countless defendants every day. If Montgomery did not have the power to decide which charges to prosecute, his office could not offer these plea deals.
In fact, the MCAO at one time offered plea deals to undocumented workers, allowing them the opportunity to plead guilty to lesser offenses that would not have adverse immigration consequences for them.
But, according to numerous immigration attorneys locally, this practice has largely ceased, and Monty's prosecutors are demanding that these defendants "plead to the lead."
All of the individuals and groups that have signed on to the SANE immigration reform plan should ask themselves how they can parley with a man who is tied at the hip to Joe Arpaio and who separates immigrant families and treats ordinary workers as if they are vicious murderers.
Nothing has changed. And as long as Montgomery persecutes the very people SANE supposedly would help, SANE is a meaningless document, not worth the website it's published on.