- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2017

Illegal immigrant Dreamers who were granted protections under the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty are entitled to due process rights when the government tried to revoke their status, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The case involves 24-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina, who was snared by immigration agents who came to arrest his illegal immigrant father, but also picked up Mr. Medina when they believed he was a gang member.

His legal case is one of a number of challenges by Dreamers who say the Trump administration has been arbitrary in trying to revoke their protections from the DACA program.

The administration has argued immigration decisions concerning illegal immigrants cannot be challenged in regular courts, saying the law gives agents broad discretion to decide whom to exclude or deport.

But Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, who was appointed to the U.S. District Court in Seattle by President George W. Bush, said in a ruling Wednesday that even illegal immigrants have due process rights that the government must respect, and their DACA status can’t be canceled without justification.

“While the Court recognizes and acknowledges that DACA does not confer lawful status upon an individual, the Court also finds that the representations made to applicants for DACA cannot and do not suggest that no process is due to them, particularly in Plaintiff’s case where benefits have already been conferred,” the judge wrote.

“What process is due, and whether Plaintiff received such process, are ultimately questions for another day. But at this stage of the proceedings the Court is satisfied that Plaintiff has raised a plausible due process claim that will not be dismissed,” the judge said.

He said when President Barack Obama created the program, it created a deal between the government and illegal immigrants who qualified: They would come forward and report themselves, turning over information, and in exchange they would be granted a number of benefits usually reserved for legal residents.

The DACA program says it is not a grant of legal status, is purely discretionary, and can be revoked, but Judge Martinez said that doesn’t negate the administration’s obligation to follow procedures.

Mr. Medina’s lawyers called the decision a major victory for Dreamers.

“The Government claims that it can break its promises to the Dreamers for any reason or for no reason at all. The Court asked the Government whether that could be fair or just, and this order makes clear that the answer to that question is ‘no,’ ” said Ethan Dettmer, one of the lawyers.

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