Sunday, September 27, 2020

‘Mexican Heritage’ Judge to Take On ‘Dreamer’ Case

District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge that made headlines for being attacked by then-candidate Donald Trump over his “Mexican heritage” in the Trump University case, has been assigned the case of the first DREAMer to be deported under Trump’s presidency. Juan Manual Montes, formally filed a complaint on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, seeking documentation concerning the legality of his deportation.

“It is of interest because of the judge having been previously attacked — unfairly I think — by candidate Trump, but I don’t think legally there’s much of an issue here. He handles many cases involving the United States government,” said Kevin R. Johnson, dean of University of California, Davis, School of Law.

Judge Curiel, an Obama appointee, was also a former U.S. attorney, and during the Trump University case, he did not recuse himself and made no public comments about the Trump attacks. The Trump University case was settled for $25 million under a deal reached in November.

Juan Manuel Montes was deported to Mexico after he was stopped by a law enforcement officer after leaving a friend’s house in Calexico, California, and did not have his documentation on him; he was unable to retrieve his documentation and was told to sign documents before being physically removed across the border. Attorneys allege Customs and Border Protection should have known about his DACA status.

This case, and that of other DACA recipients could signal the administration’s plans for the program, that was started in 2012 under former President Obama. More than 770,000 people currently have DACA permits; the results of this case will be very telling regarding the legality of President Trump’s actions, and the future of DACA under his administration.

NBC News