The federal judge who President Donald Trump tried to discredit for his “Mexican heritage” will be overseeing a case involving a controversial deportation, USA Today reported.
District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has been assigned to handle the lawsuit involving a so-called “DREAMer” who was deported in February, the report said.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Juan Manuel Montes, a 23-year-old who was brought to the United States when he was 9 and is a resident of California.
Federal agents deported Montes to his native Mexico two months ago, even though he was protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, enacted by former President Barack Obama.
Montes is the first known recipient of DACA protection to be deported, according to USA Today.
Curiel is the same judge who presided over lawsuits involving Trump’s for-profit company, Trump University. Last year during the presidential campaign, Trump claimed Curiel — who was born in Indiana — couldn’t preside fairly over the case because he is Mexican-American. The comments were met with widespread opprobrium from legal scholars, civil-rights groups, and lawmakers from both parties.
“Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage,” Trump said in one attack. “I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall.”
“I think I’m going to do very well with Hispanics, but we’re building a wall,” he said. “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings — rulings that people can’t even believe.”
The lawsuits culminated with Curiel approving an agreement for Trump to pay $US25 million in settlements to former Trump University students who claimed the company was fraudulent.
That Curiel was assigned to the deportation case was a coincidence. Judges in California’s Southern District are chosen on a rotating schedule, according to USA Today.
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