Seattle, Washington, USA: U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez at a hearing in his Seattle courtroom, Tuesday, said the government cannot immediately revoke the DACA status of 25-year-old, Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Mexican man, saying he wants more information from lawyers before he issues a preliminary ruling.
Daniel Ramirez Medina drew international attention last year when the government revoked his status in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals , DACA, program and placed him in deportation proceedings, even though he has no criminal record.
His arrest signaled an erosion of the program’s protections under President Donald Trump, and courts have since blocked the administration’s efforts to end it. In response to one of those rulings, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last month restored Ramirez’s DACA status — only to immediately notify him that the agency planned to revoke it again, citing allegations of gang ties which an immigration judge has already found to be false.
Ramirez’s lawyers asked the judge, Tuesday, to bar the government from further rescinding their client’s protections, which allow some immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain and study or work, or from continuing to allege that he has been involved in gangs.
The government’s attorneys, however, insisted that such actions by the court would be premature or unwarranted. The Justice Department’s Jeffrey Robins argued that while Citizenship and Immigration Services has notified Ramirez of its intent to strip his DACA status, it has not actually done so — and thus, there is no final agency decision for Ramirez’s lawyers to challenge.
Ramirez is due to respond on May 7 to the government’s latest efforts to revoke his status, and a final decision could follow soon after.
Even with that deadline, the judge said another technical hurdle could prevent him from granting the relief Ramirez seeks: Ramirez initially asked the court to restore his DACA status. The government has already done so, even if it plans to revoke it again. Martinez asked the lawyers for further briefing about whether, at this stage, it would be procedurally appropriate for him to grant Ramirez’s new requests.
Ramirez’s lawyers urged the judge not to lose sight of the difficult situation their client faces. He was taken into custody at a suburban Seattle home when agents went to arrest his father. Agents insisted he had a gang tattoo — in reality, it merely had the name of his hometown in Mexico — and that he admitted having gang ties, which he denies.
Ramirez three times passed background checks to participate in DACA; the government has offered no corroborating evidence of his purported gang involvement; and at one hearing in immigration court, a government lawyer acknowledged having no indication that he posed a public safety risk. An immigration judge found that Ramirez did not have gang ties, but ordered him deported because he is in the country illegally, a decision Ramirez is appealing.
“The government continues to make this assertion that it itself has disavowed,” Ramirez attorney Ethan Dettmer told the judge, calling it a “stark, vicious lie.”
At Tuesday’s hearing, Martinez asked the Justice Department’s lawyer whether the government can corroborate his purported gang ties. Robins offered none, but responded, “Your honor, that’s why we have this process.”
Ramirez said he has been working as a field hand in California vineyards since regaining his DACA status and work authorization. If he loses it again, his lawyers said, he will be unable to provide for his 4-year-old son, who is a U.S. citizen.
DACA, a program created in 2012 by President Barack Obama, gives immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents as children renewable, two-year work permits and protection from deportation.
EARLIER: Trump Must Continue DACA, Accept New Applications – Federal Judge – Washington D.C., USA: U.S. District Judge John Bates in D.C., Tuesday, became the third federal judge to reject Trump’s excuse for rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, ordering him to continue the program and accept new applications. The federal judge found the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA to be “arbitrary and capricious”.
The judge wrote that the government’s “failure to give an adequate explanation of its legal judgment was particularly egregious” in light of the hundreds of thousands of DACA beneficiaries who had structured their lives around the understanding that they could renew their benefits.
Bates sent the matter back to the Department of Homeland Security, putting his order on hold for 90 days “to allow the agency an opportunity to better explain its rescission decision.” A status report is due July 27.
If it fails to produce a more convincing argument in the three-month timeframe, DHS “must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications,” the judge said.
“Each day that the agency delays is a day that aliens who might otherwise be eligible for initial grants of DACA benefits are exposed to removal because of an unlawful agency action,” Bates wrote in his decision.
Bates order that the administration must accept new applications is a first in the ongoing legal battles over Trump’s decision.
Two other judges have issued similar rulings, but have only ruled that the program should be allowed to continue while litigation plays out.
Judges in New York and California have issued nationwide injunctions that partially revived the program, requiring the administration to process renewal applications after finding the rescission was likely unlawful. Neither order went so far as to order the government to start processing new applications, however.
Below Is A Copy Of The Judgement On DACA By Judge John Bates, United States District Court For The District Of Columbia
The NAACP, Princeton University, and Microsoft Corporaton were among the groups that brought the cases in DC before Judge Bates.
Trump rescinded the Obama-era DACA – which gives protections to immigrants brought to the U.S. as children – in September, giving Congress six months to pass legislation in its place.