Greek-American Judge against Trump over ‘Dreamers’

Greek-American District Judge Nicholas Garaufis castigated President Trump’s recurring ‘extreme’ and ‘vicious’ comments about Latinos, adding that what the President said could be used against him in a court of law.

According to Reuters, Judge Garaufis is presiding over a lawsuit brought by several DACA recipients, and by states including New York, Massachusetts and Washington. The plaintiffs are asking Garaufis to issue an injunction preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which Trump’s administration decided to call off in September 2017.

The program that was initiated by Barack Obama in 2012 aimed at protecting children and young adults from deportation, while it also gave them the right to get work permits. If Trump’s policy comes into effect, DACA is set to expire in March 2018. DACA beneficiaries are commonly referred to as ‘Dreamers,’ accounting for almost 800,000 people.

New York State, a coalition of 16 other attorneys general and Dreamers are asking Garaufis to block DACA’s termination, arguing that Trump’s sudden revocation of DACA in September was fuelled by anti-Latino bias and improperly upended lives without explanation, the NY Daily News reports.

In view of the fact that the anticipated court decision is set to affect the lives of so many people, the Greek American judge has not issued a ruling yet, saying that this is not a ‘run of the mill’ decision where he could overlook isolated comments “by bureaucrats in Washington or New York on a bad hair day.”  “So, I don’t accept the premise that it’s something we can just ignore,” he added.

Meanwhile, a San Francisco federal judge, namely U.S. District Judge William Alsup, issued an injunction against DACA’s revocation a few weeks ago, on January 9. Trump’s federal advocates have asked the Supreme Court fast track a ruling by which Alsup’s judgement will be overturned. However, the high court has yet to decide whether it will even hear the California case.

There is speculation that Garaufis has held off his own ruling in anticipation of what the Supreme Court has to say. Given the number of plaintiffs in his court hearing though, Garaufis’ ruling is set to affect the lives of a much larger group of people. As Dreamer Eliana Fernandez, a mother of 5- and 10-year-old children at home, told reporters, “Our lives depend upon this ruling.”

 

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