Yet another federal judge has ruled that President Trump showed “clear cut indications of racial prejudice” against Mexicans during the campaign, and he used that in a new decision Friday to further dent the administration’s efforts to end the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty.
Judge William Alsup, who earlier in the week had blocked the DACA phaseout and ordered the government to start accepting amnesty renewals again, issued a second order adding more reasons to his decision.
He said that the immigrant-rights advocates had proved Mr. Trump’s actions were unconstitutional because they targeted Mexicans, after the president during the campaign complained about the types of people coming into the U.S. from its southern neighbor.
While acknowledging a gap of two years between some of the comments and the president’s action, Judge Alsup said he was still able to draw a direct line between Mr. Trump’s complaint in June 2015 that Mexico sends rapists and criminals to the U.S. and his September 2017 decision to phase out DACA.
“Are clear cut indications of racial prejudice on the campaign trail to be forgotten altogether?” Judge Alsup, a Clinton appointee to the bench, said in his latest ruling.
He said the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had itself used Mr. Trump’s campaign comments to rule his travel ban policies illegal. And while the Supreme Court has several times delivered spankings to the lower courts for their attempts to block the travel ban, Judge Alsup said he felt justified in using the campaign comments against Mr. Trump — at least for now.
“Construed in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, as must be done at the pleading stage, these allegations raise a plausible inference that racial animus towards Mexicans and Latinos was a motivating factor in the decision to end DACA,” he ruled.
Judge Alsup said Mr. Trump also dented his own decision by repeatedly saying during the early part of his presidency that he supported DACA recipients — then turned around and announced his phaseout of the program.
It was a strange finding for the judge, who just days earlier had ruled the DACA program itself legal — but did not look at the multiple times then-President Barack Obama had said it was illegal, before he reversed himself.
The judge also did not seem to take note of the repeated times during the campaign that Mr. Trump called DACA illegal as a policy and said he would revoke it — even as he said he wanted to find a solution for the illegal immigrant “Dreamers” who benefit from it.
Homeland Security is trying to figure out how to comply with Judge Alsup’s original order requiring the government to re-start DACA renewals.
The last applications had been accepted Oct. 5.
One challenge will be to decide what to do about some 5,000 applications that came in late and were rejected.