Bill Montgomery: Victimizer of Undocumented Workers, Turns "Victims' Rights" Advocate in DC
In addition to his miserly U-visa policy, Montgomery has a long line of his own victims, undocumented workers he's held nonbondable in sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails, sometimes for months on end, in order to coerce them into pleading guilty to felonies that will make them deportable.
They are grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. Rather than prosecute their employers, Montgomery goes after the low-hanging fruit, the workers, even when there is evidence that the companies they work for are complicit.
These persons are held without bond under a 2006 amendment to the Arizona Constitution denying bail to those presumed to be undocumented when the proof is evident or the presumption great that a class four felony or above has been committed.
Montgomery could choose to charge these workers with a lesser felony, which would make them bailable, or even a misdemeanor, as was recently done in the case of 23 year-old Solaguahire Zenil, who was being prosecuted by the MCAO for felony forgery, and spent six months in jail.
On the day her trial was to begin, the prosecution revealed that the Social Security Number Zenil had been using was her own and had been legally obtained. This, according to her immigration attorney Jose Penalosa.
And yet, Montgomery has the temerity to call himself an advocate for victims rights.
Carlos Garcia of the local human rights organization Puente was outraged by Montgomery's remarks. His group has protested Montgomery and helped the children, spouses and other family members left without their loved ones because of the MCAO's inhumane and unjust policy of forcing the undocumented to plead to the lead..
"Bill Montgomery's disgraceful, discriminatory practice of law creates victims," Garcia said in a statement released after the county attorney's testimony. "He doesn't defend victim's rights. He violates them."