For Judge Reinhardt not even the "good hombres" are safe in Trump’s America
Stephen Reinhardt, once the "reigning liberal lion" of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, has condemned President Donald Trump's deportation policies.
Yesterday, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, condemned as "unjust" the government's order to remove Andrés Magana Ortiz, a 43-year-old farmer and entrepreneur dedicated to coffee planting and research in Hawaii, who has resided in the United States for more than three decades, according to the Washington Post.
According to Reinhardt, "President Trump said his immigration policies would target 'bad men'. The government's decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even 'good men' are at risk", the judge said in an opinion released by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday.
• To read Judge Reinhardt's complete letter, click here.
Magana Ortiz came to the United States 28 years ago and has three children born in the country, the oldest of whom is 20 and attends the University of Hawaii, according to the report.
His wife is a US citizen and the family resides in Hawaii, where he works in the coffee industry, from which he has collaborated with the United States Department of Agriculture in the investigation of pests that have affected coffee plantations in the island; Magana Ortiz has allowed the government to use his plantation at no cost to carry out a five-year study, according to Judge Reinhardt's statement, who asserted that Magana is "by all accounts a pillar in his community."
According to the Washington Post report, the Department of Homeland Security began Magana’s removal procedure in 2011, but in 2014 a judge allowed him to stay in the country for the time being. Last November, when Magana Ortiz applied for an additional stay, the government changed its position and ordered Magana to be removed the following month, "without any explanation."
After appealing to Circuit 9 as a last resort to block deportation, his attempts were rejected and he must now move to Mexico with an additional restriction that prevents him from entering the United States for the next 10 years.
According to the Federal Judge, the Circuit of Appeals " compelled to deny Mr. Magana Ortiz’s request because we do not have the authority to grant it. We are not, however, compelled to find the government’s action in this case fair or just. "
For Reinhardt, the government's decision in Magana Ortiz's case undermines not only the country but also the courts, which "are supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of justice. 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 the loss of dignity and humanity as well”.
While Judge Reinhardt has a career as a liberal activist since his appointment by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 - having participated in cases such as the fight against Proposition 8 in 2012 - his voice is not the only one. Circuit 9 of the Court of Appeals has been a common force against policies such as the immigration Muslim ban. Also, in early May, a federal appeals court in Maryland also joined the blockade against immigration policies of the Trump administration.
Likewise, California Judge Tani Cantil-Sakauye, a Republican nominee, has raised her voice against the anti-immigration stances of the new administration, asserting that the US rule of law was under attack, insisting "the rule of law Means that we as citizens are governed by laws and rules, not by a monarch".