Dreamer Stays in Jail, Awaiting Federal Hearing

SEATTLE (CN) — A Mexican “Dreamer” authorized to live and work in the United States must stay in jail, and his civil rights claims should be heard in Federal Court, a federal magistrate judge ruled Tuesday.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, 23, was arrested on immigration charges on Feb. 10 despite having temporary permission to live and work under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA or the Dreamers program.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue requested an expedited bond hearing before an immigration judge after Ramirez’s arrest but Ramirez’s attorneys refused, insisting that civil rights and detention hearings should be in U.S. District Court, not immigration court.

Donohue on Tuesday refused to release Ramirez, finding “the record is not sufficiently developed” for him to recommend bond.

“Disputed issues of fact and unresolved questions of law preclude the Court from concluding at this time that petitioner’s case presents special circumstances or a high probability of success on the merits” Donohue wrote in a 46-page ruling.

He recommended that Ramirez’s case stay in U.S. District Court, rather than immigration court, and denied the government’s motion to dismiss, because Ramirez’s “arrest and detention claims are independent of any future removal order.”

The recommendations are not an order and will be referred to Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez for a final decision.

Donohue also requested an expedited schedule “because there are nearly 800,000 DACA beneficiaries who are interested in the outcome of these proceedings.”

“Judge Donohue’s ruling is an exceptionally important victory and really lays down a marker in these cases, that the federal court will step in and review the arrest,” Ramirez’s attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. said in a conference call with reporters after the ruling.