Federal judge won’t recommend release for Seattle-area Dreamer

By Nina Shapiro

The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — A federal magistrate judge weighed in for the second time Tuesday against immediately releasing Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Dreamer when he was arrested in Des Moines, Iowa, last month by immigration officers. Yet the judge also proposed an order that would keep jurisdiction over the case rather than send it to immigration court.

The decision by Chief Magistrate Judge James Donohue amounts to recommendations, not an order. As a magistrate judge, he must refer those recommendations to a federal judge appointed by the president, in this case Chief District Judge Ricardo Martinez.

Magistrate judges are chosen by presidentially appointed judges.

Immigration court normally handles deportation proceedings, including the issue of release on bond for someone who is detained. Donohue found that he could not yet conclude that Ramirez’s case was “extraordinary or involves special circumstances that would warrant conditional release at this time.”

The 23-year-old Mexican-born Ramirez came to the U.S. as a child and received authorization to remain in the country legally under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals , or DACA, program.

Donohue may ultimately decide the case is exceptional, however. His lawyers have argued that immigration officers violated his due process rights.

Donohue also proposed that the nationally watched case be handled on an expedited schedule.

Ramirez is being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.

Attorneys for Ramirez and the government have until March 28 to file objections and 14 days after any objection is filed to respond.