EOIR Phoenix court, 250 N 7th Ave #300, 602 640 2747, open 8-4, five judges. It is open to the public. However that does not include the media and a judge can make a decision to close the hearing. Check at the front desk for which judges have cases. There are “master” calendars with many people and “individual” calendars with one person. If you know the person’s A number, you can locate their time and place. A “master” calendar means 99% of the hearings are not about the merits but about a status or update on the case i.e. the process – when and where the next hearing is. Often the persons are asking for more time to get an attorney.
The most important thing to do in these hearings is to make sure the person knows that they must return for the next hearing. Often people are afraid to return thinking they will then be detained and deported. But if they don’t return, they are 100% certain to be deported. If they return, they have some chance.
The other thing they need to know is that they cannot continue getting continuances i.e. postponements because they don’t have an attorney. They can get one or maybe two but then the hearing will be held with or without an attorney and with or without them. So the Spanish speakers could speak to the person when s/he exits the courtroom and ensure they know these facts.
The children’s court is at 8:30 on Friday morning. But the children are all represented by lawyers from the Florence Immigration Project. Twenty or so children are heard one by one for about 5 minutes each. Individual hearings on merits are set many months out e.g. the attorney who spoke on 7/13 at the Uncaged/Reunite meeting has a hearing set in June 2020 because the courts are so backlogged. Since each child has an attorney, it’s uncertain that having public observations will make things better for that child. That may not be the best use of your time.
The most important hearings we can go to are in Florence and Eloy immigration courts. In these courts, people often do not have attorneys. There the observers will see more asylum cases and cancellation of status cases. Hearings are at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Many people will be waiting to be heard. Those with attorneys will go first. It would be helpful to have observers at the hearings without attorneys. When you enter the building, go to the filing window. There will be posted a list of hearings. Go to the ones with 20-30 names. That means there will be many without attorneys. Expect to take 30 minutes or more to get through security. You will not be allowed to take anything in including pens and paper so make your notes immediately when you leave. Below are their addresses and phone numbers of the courts.
Florence EOIR court: 3260 N Pinal Parkway Ave, Florence, 85132, 520 868 3341, hours 8-12 and 1-4.
Eloy EOIR court: 1705 E Hanna Road #366, Eloy, 85131, 520 466 3671