TUCSON — With the first witness still on the stand and a long witness list, the two-month-old sanctuary movement trial is not expected to wind up quickly.
The federal case against 11 movement members charged with conspiracy and smuggling of aliens began Oct. 22. It resumes Tuesday after a recess that began Dec. 20.
The 11 defendants, who include two priests and a nun, are charged with conspiring to illegally smuggle Guatemalans and Salvadorans into the United States. The government's position is that the aliens were seeking jobs. The defendants maintain that the aliens were refugees seeking political asylum.
The trial's pace has slowed as U.S. District Judge Earl H. Carroll has heard repeated motions over what defense approaches will be permitted and over federal immigration policies. The defense has sought to include testimony on religious rationale, but Carroll has repeatedly said no.