A federal judge hearing a case concerning the Trump administration’s phaseout of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program issued a blistering critique of what he called the President’s “recurring, redundant drumbeat of anti-Latino commentary.”
“It’s not just an ad hoc comment that was overheard on an open mic,” Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said Tuesday in a Brooklyn courtroom. “It’s not just that somebody at INS said something derogatory about Mexicans. This came from the top.”
“It’s extreme, it’s recurring, it’s vicious,” he added.
Garaufis’ comments came during a case brought by DACA participants and 16 states challenging how the administration decided to terminate the program. The Trump administration is seeking to dismiss the challenge, arguing that the attorney general and the Department of Homeland Security had concluded that the Obama-era program was unlawful and announced in September that it should be unwound in an orderly fashion.
Last month, a judge in California, hearing a similar case, temporarily blocked the administration’s attempt to bring the program to a close. Justice Department lawyers are appealing that decision to the Supreme Court.
’Most of people that I ran into in Norway when I was there were white’
Lawyers from the National Immigration Law Center and the states are asking the Brooklyn-based Garaufis, a Bill Clinton appointee, for a similar injunction, arguing that the decision to terminate DACA was illegally “infected” by animus.
“Would the same outcome have been reached if the group of affected young people had been children and young adults from Norway, instead of children and young adults primarily from Mexico?” argued Colleen Melody, a lawyer for the state of Washington.
The question seemed to refer to President Donald Trump’s reported comments made behind closed doors in a meeting with senators earlier this month. At the meeting, according to a source, Trump began to ask why people from Haiti and more Africans were wanted in the US and added that the US should get more people from countries like Norway.