U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Lawsuit Against Trump's DACA Policies Proceeds

Legally speaking, President Trump has made racial slurs.

Almost everybody knows it, but it just sounds so bad when a judge says it. Of course, Judge Nicholas Garaufis used more judicious language in his decision.

But ruling in Vidal v. Nielsen, the federal judge made it clear. The president has said prejudicial things against Mexicans.

Bias Against Mexicans

In a 33-page ruling, Garaufis said Trump repeatedly called Mexicans "bad hombres," "rapists," and other slurs. It was enough to conclude the plaintiffs in the case could show racial discrimination in Trump's rollback of the Deferred Action for Childhood Enrollment.

"To establish discriminatory purpose, plaintiffs identify a disheartening number of statements made by President Donald Trump that allegedly suggest that he is prejudiced against Latinos and, in particular, Mexicans," the judge said.

DACA immigrants, also known as "Dreamers," were given a chance to stay in the United States under President Obama. Trump rescinded the program last year, and now its fate is in the hands of the federal courts and the legislature.

In the New York case, the judge said the plaintiffs may proceed with their discrimination complaint. But they still have to prove the allegations to win.

'Plausible Inference'

Meanwhile, Garaufis said Trump's statements are "sufficiently racially charged, recurring, and troubling as to raise a plausible inference that the decision to end the DACA program was substantially motivated by discriminatory animus."

"Although the use of racial slurs, epithets, or other racially charged language does not violate equal protection per se, it can be evidence that official action was motivated by unlawful discriminatory purposes," Garaufis said.

About 93% of DACA recipients came from Latin America, but 78% of them are Mexican nationals. Besides acting to reverse the DREAM Act, Trump campaigned for a wall between the United States and Mexico.

He also stumped against immigrants from other countries and followed through with multiple travel bans. Those matters are still locked in litigation across the country.

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