Judges are victims too in 'inhumane' deportations, 9th Circuit concurrence says

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9th Circuit

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Immigrants aren’t the only ones who are victims when the government moves to deport them in cases that are neither fair nor just, according to a concurrence by a liberal appeals judge.

Judges are victims too, according to the concurrence by Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate and the Associated Press are among the publications with coverage. The Marshall Project provides a link to the opinion (PDF).

Reinhardt acknowledged that the 9th Circuit was compelled to deny a request by Hawaii businessman Andres Magana Ortiz to stay his removal while he seeks legal status. But the court was not “compelled to find the government’s action in this case fair or just,” according to Reinhardt, who was once described as the court’s “liberal lion.”

“Indeed, the government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz diminishes not only our country but our courts, which are supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of justice,” Reinhardt wrote. “Magana Ortiz and his family are in truth not the only victims. Among the others are judges who, forced to participate in such inhumane acts, suffer a loss of dignity and humanity as well.”

Reinhardt said Magana Ortiz was “by all accounts a pillar of his community.” He entered the United States illegally at age 15 and lived here for 28 years. During that time, he raised a family and became a respected businessman in the coffee farming community. His youngest child is 12 and the oldest, a college student, is 20.

He has two convictions for driving under the influence, but the last conviction was 14 years old.

“President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the`bad hombres,’” Reinhardt wrote. “The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”

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