‘Dreamer’ Stays in a Washington Jail

SEATTLE (CN) — A federal magistrate Wednesday delayed ruling on the jailing of a Mexican “Dreamer” authorized to live and work in the United States, and gave a tongue lashing to federal prosecutors for filing a late brief that included a new legal argument.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue scolded Department of Justice attorneys at a hearing, saying their untimely brief kept him up late and would prevent him from issuing a decision until next week.

Attorneys for Daniel Ramirez Medina have until Friday to respond.

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.

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.

Department of Justice attorney Jeffrey Robins adamantly disagreed at the Wednesday hearing, saying any challenge to Ramirez’s detention “must be filed in immigration court,” and that civil rights claims “must be channeled through the Court of Appeals for review.”

Ramirez’s attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. said he was challenging Ramirez’s arrest and detention before immigration officials issued an order for removal.

Court records show Ramirez was not charged until four hours after his arrest. Ramirez’s attorneys said there was no probable cause to arrest him.

Donohue said many noncitizens believe they have been unlawfully arrested. “Are you suggesting they bypass the immigration system and come to federal court?” he asked.

Boutrous replied that he meant only DACA beneficiaries. He said he wanted to prevent Ramirez from being “sucked into the mass of the immigration process.”

Ramirez is being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.