Bill Montgomery's Shame: Mom Risks Deportation Because of MCAO Felony

If she were to leave, Ivon explains, Luis would remain behind.

"He would have to stay and work," she said. "Because we have nothing."

Today, the human rights group Puente rallied at Phoenix's ICE headquarters to request that Ivon be allowed to stay. Puente produced the video above of Ivon telling her story.

The group also has a petition you can sign, asking ICE to let her to remain in the country.

Ivon had heard about the controversy over Montgomery's charging practices, of how the MCAO hits undocumented workers with felonies, while giving college kids a slap on the wrist when they commit the same crime.

"I see, on TV, that some people, they use a false ID to buy alcohol," she said. "And they just give them a misdemeanor. I can't understand why. They were doing bad stuff. I was just working."

I can't understand why either. Nor do I understand why ICE continues to take tainted cases from Maricopa County, where Arpaio is being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for racial profiling.

One arm of the government remains indifferent to what the other arm is up to. Or so it seems.

Meanwhile, Arpaio raids establishments we all patronize, places where food is prepared or brought to us by people such as Ivon.

ICE had no comment as of Monday, but my understanding is that the case is under review.

We are a better society, a better country, a better state and county, with Ivon and Luis and Zurisadai here with us.

Give the undocumented a way to get right with the law, and they will. Allow them to work legally, and they will. Let them apply for driver's licenses and require them to get auto insurance, and they will.

In the interim, stop the deportations of folks like Ivon. End Arpaio's raids, and shut down Montgomery's discriminatory charging practices.

This madness has to end. We must make it end. It's the least we can do for the people who feed us.

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48 comments
dkessler4
dkessler4

Monty is just Andy Thomas with a new jacket...  Justice in Arizona is lacks humanity and tolerance toward others.  Without these traits it produces an intolerant tyranny for those it pretends to serve.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

Seriously folks, the people of Maricopa County elected a silver-haired, Army trained version of Candy Andy Thomas.

Cozz
Cozz

The Power Of The ProsecutorBy Radley Balko Posted: 01/16/2013 10:09 am

The death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz has generated a lot of discussion about the power of prosecutors -- particularly federal prosecutors. This is a good thing. The conversation is long overdue. But the discussion needs to go well beyond Swartz and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Prosecutors have enormous power. Even investigations that don't result in any charges can ruin lives, ruin reputations, and drive their targets into bankruptcy. It has become an overtly political position -- in general, but particularly at the federal level. If a prosecutor wants to ruin your life, he or she can. Even if you've done nothing wrong, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it.

There are a number of factors that got us here, and it's worth looking at them in turn.

We have too many laws.

There have been a number of projects that attempted to count the total number of federal criminal laws. They usually give up. The federal criminal code is just too complex, too convoluted, and too weighted down with duplications, overlapping laws, and other complications to come to a definite number. But by most estimates, there are at least 4,000 separate criminal laws at the federal level, with another 10,000 to 300,000 regulations that can be enforced criminally. Just this year 400 new federal laws took effect, as did 29,000 new state laws. The civil libertarian and defense attorney Harvey Silverglate has argued that most Americans now unknowingly now commit about three felonies per day.

But you, citizen, are expected to know and comply with all of these laws. That isn't possible, of course. It would probably take you most of the year to understand them all, at which point you'd have the next year's batch of new laws to learn. You'd probably also need to hire a team of attorneys to help you translate the laws into terms you can understand. After the McCain-Feingold legislation passed in 2003, for example, both parties held weekly, three-hour classes just to educate members of Congress on how to comply with the bill they had just passed. This is a bill they wrote that applied to themselves, and they still had to bring in high-paid lawyers explain to them how not to break it.

Most of us don't have that option. And it's absurd that someone should have to hire an attorney or tax accountant merely to pay their taxes, run a business, run for office, or start a political organization without fear of getting hit with exorbitant fines, or going to jail.

Worse, while we citizens can go to prison for unwittingly breaking laws of which we weren't aware, prosecutors and law enforcement officers who wrongly arrest, charge, and try citizens based on a misunderstanding of the law generally face no sanction or repercussions. Under the doctrine of qualified immunity, a police officer who illegally arrests someone because he wasn't aware of the law can only be held liable if the law in question was "clearly established" at the time he violated it. Prosecutors are protected by absolute immunity, which basically shields them from liability no matter how egregious their mistakes.

We need to move away from the idea that every act we find immoral, repugnant, or unsavory needs to be criminalized. Every new criminal law gives prosecutors more power. Once we have so many laws that it's likely we're all breaking at least one of them, the prosecutor's job is no longer about enforcing the laws, but about choosing which laws to enforce. It's then a short slide to the next step: Choosing what people need to be made into criminals, then simply picking the laws necessary to make that happen.

The laws are too vaguely and broadly written.

Federal laws on matters like conspiracy, racketeering, wiretapping, mail fraud, and money laundering gives prosecutors enormous discretion and leeway. Likewise for many of the post-9/11 laws that address giving aid to designated terrorist organizations, the notoriously awful Honest Services Fraud law (which the Supreme Court narrowed in 2009), and of course the CFAA.

There has also been a trend over the last 20 years or so toward laws that don't require prosecutors to show criminal intent. This means you can be prosecuted for crimes you had no idea you were breaking -- even laws you actively tried not to break. A 2010 study co-authored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Heritage Foundation found that in its rush to criminalize more and more behavior, Congress has been passing poorly-drafted laws that increasingly lack any requirement at all to show intent. Even when intent is included, the study found, it tends to be vague and open to interpretation (which also means open to abuse) by prosecutors.

At the state and local level, laws against "public nuisance," "disorderly conduct," and "keeping a disorderly house" also typically give law enforcement and prosecutors wide discretion.

Take all of that with the massive total number of laws, and you get a system ripe for abuse. If a prosecutor has it out for you, he can probably find a law he can plausibly argue you've broken. Even if you're acquitted -- in fact, even if the charge is dropped, or if you're investigated but never charged -- you don't get compensated for the time, stress, and expense the whole affair cost you. In federal cases you're supposed to at least be reimbursed for you legal expenses, but that doesn't appear to happen much, either.

Cozz
Cozz

Prosecutors have perverse incentives.

At the state level, prosecutors are reelected, move on to higher office, or win prestigious jobs at high-powered law firms for racking up large numbers of convictions -- and for getting high-profile convictions. They're rarely publicly praised or rewarded for declining to prosecute someone in the interest of justice. I'm sure it happens. But it isn't the sort of thing even a well-intentioned prosecutor is going to boast about in a press release.

USA Today recently found that federal prosecutors who commit misconduct en route to wrongful convictions are rarely if ever sanctioned. Other studies have come to similar conclusions about state prosecutors. Often, prosecutors aren't even named in appeals court decisions that overturn convictions due to misconduct. And there's of course the aforementioned absolute immunity, an absurd bubble of protection afforded only to prosecutors and judges that the Supreme Court basically cooked up from scratch.

It isn't difficult to see how we might get unjust outcomes when incentive points toward building an impressive volume of convictions, and seeking out high-profile, publicity-seeking cases that tend to me more driven by politics than justice, while there's rarely penalty for breaking the rules or going too far.

Protections have morphed into weapons.

Grand juries, intended and once used to protect people from the excesses of prosecutors, are today used by prosecutors to harass and intimidate. I wrote about one example a few years ago when Assistant U.S. Attorney used a grand jury investigation to silence pain patient advocate Siobhan Reynolds, who had been criticizing the office's prosecution of doctors. Plea bargaining is often seen as a tool that lets guilty people get off with less punishment than they deserve by pleading to lesser crimes. But too often, it too is used as a weapon. Thanks to the overlapping and duplicitous laws, prosecutors can stack charges to build enormously long potential sentences. This happened with Swartz. The threat of decades in prison can then make pleading to a lesser charge and lesser time enticing, even to an innocent person. This is an everyday thing, but the problem was put on wide display during the scandals in Tulia and Hearne, Texas, where dozens of people pleaded guilty to crimes they didn't commit.

Bringing the hammer down.

The federal government in particular seems to be getting less tolerant of challenges to its authority, and more willing to use more force and more serious charges to make an example of people who defy the law. You see this with the ridiculously disproportionate SWAT raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. No one seriously believes the people running these businesses are a threat to federal law enforcement officers. Sending the SWAT team is about sending a message. The government is sending a similar message when it conducts heavy handed raids on farmers and co-ops that sell raw dairy products, or when it sends paramilitary teams to raid the offices of doctors suspected of over-prescribing prescription painkillers. You see it when the feds throw the book at suspected copyright violators, or at the executives of online poker sites, threatening decades in prison. The goal in these cases isn't to stop and punish someone who is a serious threat to other people. It's to send a message to the rest of us: Defy the government as this person did, and here is what will happen to you.

The politicization of criminality.

When everyone is breaking the law, it becomes rather easy to use the law as a political weapon. We saw this during the Bush administration with a number of targeted prosecutions aimed at prominent members of the other party, or at "sending a message" of some kind. And of course the law and order instinct toward more power for cops and prosecutors has long been more associated with conservatives.

But the left is guilty, too. The rush to publicly convict George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin resulted in an indictment that most defense attorneys have since characterized as absurdly overreaching and aggressive. Yet outside of legal commentators and pundits, most on the left seemed to be okay with it. There have also been credible accusations of prosecutorial misconduct that have received little coverage outside the conservative media (which itself seems suddenly interested in protecting the rights of the accused). When Elliott Spitzer was trouncing the constitution with aggressive tactics in his pursuit of corporate bigwigs, he was largely cheered by progressives and editorial boards who are traditionally more supportive of the rights of the accused. When the Heritage Foundation first undertook its overcriminalization project, the progressive organization Media Matters actually mocked the conservative think tank for being soft on crime.

Too often, criticism of prosecutorial excesses isn't framed as this should never happen, but why isn't this happening to the people I don't like? Until that changes -- until partisans are willing to condemn abuses even by their own, or committed against their political opponents or people they personally find unsavory -- the problem is only going to get worse.


I'd suggest all of these factors (and probably a few I haven't thought of) have increasingly made us a nation ruled not by laws, but by politics (and by aspiring politicians). And once criminality is influenced primarily by politics, we're all just potential criminals.

 

DNichols
DNichols

"Let he who is with out sin cast the first stone."

J.C.

This is not Mongomery, Arpaio, Brewer, or their Supremacist/Nazi following.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

To all those who think that charging undocumented aliens with forgery, a class 4 felony, so they are nonbondable is a good thing - note that the MCAO pled this as a class 6 felony.  Had they charged a class 6 felony in the first place, which is where they ended up on the plea deal, she would have been bondable.  This is further indication that MCAO charging policy is specifically intended to prevent bond, despite Bill Montgomery's protests to the contry, which MCSO employee yourproductsucks confirmed on this blog on Sunday.

ReggieVV
ReggieVV

Deport TB, herein. At least the food service workers are doing something productive. Deport Arpaio, he is a useless grandstander, protecting us from taco shop employees, and car washers. Wow he so brave.

DNichols
DNichols

Since the January 2008 start of the I.C.E. Deportation Program:

Over One Hundred un-documented Immigrants have Died in I.C.E. Custody.

Over Thirteen Thousand have been Incarcerated for years with out charges.

Over Five Thousand Legal Citizen Children of un-documented Immigrants are now in U.S. Foster care with their Parents ripped away from them.

Over Forty-two Thousand un-documented Human Beings now lay Dead at the Harsh U.S. Mexico Border where I.C.E. has Deported/Dumped Hundreds of Thousands of Human Beings into a known "Drug War" with nothing, not even water, to be Killed, or to Die of the Harsh Elements.

M.C.A. Bill Montgomery is part of America's Darkest Hour.

This Great Nation of Immigrants was Built on Far Better Principles, and Values than to rip Mothers from their Babies!

Many in Arizona are Posing as Christians.

Perhaps in Arizona we should build Human Ovens at our Easter Pagents, and as a Grand Finally we could March Mothers with their Babies into it and light it up?!

"Blessed are the Merciful for they shall obtain Mercy."

Lets hope our Maker Judges us more fairly than we are now judging Millions, and hopefully we can be granted "Amnesty".

W.W.J.D?

C.T.R?!!

To: Good, and Brotherhood, from Sea to shining Sea.

ted.bollinger
ted.bollinger

She should be deported, kids or not! By the way, the recall Joe campaign is over because they are broke but they won't tell you that because they just want your money. But did you know that they are about to be audited? Yes they are and what will be discovered is fraud! I've been informed that a list of their donors will be disclosed.

danxranx
danxranx

Well now that makes a lot of sense lol.


www.PC-Privacy.tk

MotherJones
MotherJones

Let her stay. She'll be a better resident and hopefully, citizen, than any of the yahoos that want her gone.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@Cozz I agree that there are too many laws.  More Government oversight is never the answer.

Cozz
Cozz

@truthseekeraz  

So right, the CA's office is as bad as the criminals they prosecute but have the license to get away with just about everything they do.

...and the Courts do absolutely nothing to stop them.

Total bullshit.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@truthseekeraz Not sure what his religion has to do with anything and, in fact, it sounds almost like bigotry for you to call it out because it is unclear why you did so.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@JohnQ.Public and your attempt to use my personal opinions as official statements of a County Office is simply wrong.  You are part of the problem in  your attempt to quell an opposing point of view by creating false representations in the minds of other readers.   You have no independant knowledge of where I may or may not be employed.  An attorney making libelous statements on a public forum should be wary of consequeences.  If you think that making such statements aren't potentially very damaging we may very well see eachother in court.  Everything I post here on this forum is my own personal opinion and does not ever reflect the postition of any entity or organization.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@JohnQ.Public Offering plea deals for lesser offences is not necessarily synonymous with the strength of the case reference the original charge...but you already know that.  It's cute how you prey upon the ignorance of others in order to bolster your arguments.  She pled to a felony.   It's obvious that neither the MCAO's Office nor the Judicial Branch of Maricopa County agree with Lemons lemmings in his fallacious "comparison other" regarding fake id's and title 4 offenses.

david_saint01
david_saint01

@ted.bollinger speaking of audits, do you know the last time your hero joe has done one, or even accurately report his finances AS REQUIRED BY LAW?? over 15 years...so take your ignorance, and shove it up your ass

MotherJones
MotherJones

@ted.bollinger Keep telling urself those lies/ When Joe's run out of office u can tell urself he's still sheriff.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@truthseekeraz You are wrong.  Changing a baby's diaper is not child molest...Where there is no culpability, there is no crime.

DNichols
DNichols

Why don't they expose the Thousands of Disguised Multi-Million Dollar Spying Drones that are Watching us all?!

You don't have to be a Criminal, they are flying zones over our Cities right now watching every one.

Since the so called "Patriot Act" we are the "Enemy", and we just call this Out of Control Spying our new "National Deficit."

How many in Jail now were put there by Un-Constitutional Spying inside their very American Homes?!

To: Honesty, and Transperancy.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks And I'm doing nothing to quell an opposing point of view at all nor am I creating any false representations.  If you think that this was an effort at some sort of intimidation then you are entirely mistaken.  I was pulling together information from various sources, including articles from the PNT and comments on the blogs.  Nothing more. 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks My information on where you are employed comes directly from your comments on this website.  In response to the article “Joe Arpaio's Deputies Raid Taco Shops in Workplace Immigrant Roundup Number 72” (PNT; March 15, 2013) you commented “@david_saint01 While I agree that the resources used in the HSU division could certainly be better served in patrol where we are desperately low in staffing, it's hardly 80%. 20 deputies out of 450 is actually 4% of the SO's resources.”[emphasis added].Your use of the first-person “we” clearly implies, if not states outright, that you are employed by the MCSO.Otherwise you would have used the third-person “they” to describe the MCSO.  This was not the first comment that you've made that suggests that you are an MCSO employee.  So clarify, do you work for MCSO or not?If not, I’ll happily issue a retraction of, and apology for, my prior comment but I hope that you will also stop using language that suggests that you are an employee of MCSO.Which is it, are you an MCSO employee or not?

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks And if you read my comments on that article you'll see that I didn't agree with Lemons either as I pointed out that it may be difficult to charge under the forgery statutes for the majority of the fake ID's because most of them are "borrowed" and therefore not forged.  My opinion, as I've stated clearly, is that there is a tremendous irony that an accused murderer like Ian MacDonald can bond out by $75,000 but an accused forgerer is non-bondable.  Your positon (and correct me if I misstate it) is that the accussed forgerer being non-bondable is a direct result of charging as a class 4 felony under prop 100 and there is nothing that the MCAO can do about that so there needs to be a legislative change.  My point is that the MCAO has the prosecutorial to charge under ARS 13-2004 or 13-2006, whch are classes 6 felonies and therefore still bondable under prop. 100, which may be the statutes under which the plea bargain described above was reached.

DNichols
DNichols

@truthseeker:

Sadly this is the case.

I am sure Hitlers SS thought they were following their Law Enforcement Too.

I wonder how the Tens of Thousands of Deported Dead now laying in the Mexico Desert feel about Arizona's Law Enforcement, or Human Rights?

Where is this elusive "Humane Immigration Reform"?

How many more must suffer, and Die?!!

Hello President Obama?!!

Hello U.S. Congress?!!

Hello U.S. Senate?!!

As those in our Government Bicker, and Play Politic's, Immigrants, and our Nation Suffer.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@truthseekeraz I have read and enforced the statutes you speak of.  Provide and example of a person who has been convicted of child molestation after having done nothing more than changed the child's diaper.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks But since you are privy to the facts, just out of curiosity - how much does it cost to maintain an untried/unsentnced inmate at the MCSO jail where these nonbondable undocumented alien are housed?

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@JohnQ.Public I jumped to conclusion.  for that I apologize.  I will read you in a different light from here on out.  Too often I take an adversarial posture when it is unwarranted.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks Then I won't do that again. It wasn't my intent to suggest that this time - I would have just attributed the comment to the MCSO if I was trying to suggest that your commented wsa an official representation of the MCSO's opinion.  Sometimes you seem to sound like the PIO, like when you discussed source of funds, stats on number of deputies, etc., on Friday in the America's Taco Shop article, and when you do it seems like you are going beyond simply stating your personal opinion but almost as if you were representing the agency.  I understand that you're trying to factually set the record straight when others are using incorrect facts and it is probably frustrating for you on this site at times.  I will be careful not to infer that you are speaking on behalf of the agency or suggest that your opinions are those of the MCSO. 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks And your comment that I was referring to was, " The problem with letting illegals go who take on another's identity is the simple fact that when released, they simply change their identity to avoid prosecution...It was a rampant problem prior to prop 100. Now it's not."  The point of your comment, as I fairly interpreted it, was that charging undocumented aliens with class 4 felonies so they are non-bondable under prop 100 is an intentional approach that is being taken to resolve the "rampant problem" that you described in your post.    If you meant something else by your comment please feel free to clarify it.  The whole issue is whether the MCA intentionally charges under ARS 13-2002 so its a class 4 felony instead of under ARS 13-2004 or 13-2006, which are class 6 felonies and would be bondable under prop. 100.  Part of the discussion is with ICE and DHS attorney have coached MCAO staff on ways to charge to make undocumented aliens non-bondable.  That is a very valid issue and discussion point and I referenced your comment as part of the discussion on the issue.  Not sure why you take issue with that.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks Actually, you are the one who made where you are employed an issue in your post above when you essentially accused me of libel for stating that you are employed at the MCSO.  You made a very strong statement that my assertion that you worked for the MCSO was potentially very damaging to you and that if I didn't understand that we would see each other in court (presumably for libel).  The big difference between working for MCSO and working in the private sector is that MCSO is a governmental entity and therefore subject to different regulations and requirements.  I don't want to commit libel and certainly wouldn't do so intentionally - so should I issue a retraction or not?

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@JohnQ.Public The issue is not where I am (or am not employed).  The issue lies in the attempt to frame my personal opinions and statements being the opinions of the MCSO.  That is wholy unfactual an innappropriate assumption for you to draw.  You attempt to attack the MCAO and their policies and use a very loose interpretation of my statements to bolster your claim. 

I am certain that the law firm you work for would not appreciate nor give you authority to post here in their behalf.  Your opinions are personal.  I respect that.  You should be man enough to do the same.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

@ted.bollinger @MotherJones 

Ted, the Old Fool of MCSO is simply not doing his job. He deserves a boot impression seared on his ass. And we the people are gonna give it to him.

He will be booted from office.. Count on it.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

Jaffy, where've You been?, still sucking the DRAMA QUEEN's ass, I heard that You might be dying from AIDS........take the D QUEEN W/U.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

ted.bollinger, "But......but......but I am not an illegal allien....or a felon.........Ssshheee is". Teddy -or should I say Jaffy-U R a FUCKING PUNK'D ASS BIATCH.

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