Judge attacked by Trump to rule on 'DREAMer' immigration case
The judge who oversaw the lawsuit against Trump University has been recently assigned the case of Juan Manuel Montes, a 23-year-old who says he was deported on February 18 while under the protection of President Obama's DREAM Act.
District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel made headlines last year when then-candidate Donald Trump said he should not be involved with the Trump University lawsuit because of his "Mexican heritage."
"I have a judge in the Trump University civil case, Gonzalo Curiel (San Diego), who is very unfair. An Obama pick. Totally biased-hates Trump," Trump tweeted in May 2016.
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The president also suggested the judge might be biased against him because of his hardline stance on immigration.
The comment earned him criticism from members of his own party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan who called it, "sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment."
Curiel was born in Indiana to immigrant parents from Mexico.
He ultimately made no public comments about Trump's attacks and did not recuse himself in the Trump University case.
The case he will oversee deals comes in response to a complaint filed this week by 23-year-old Juan Manuel Montes, in which he claims that the government failed to provide any documentation explaining the legal justification for the decision to deport him back to Mexico.
His lawyers complain that the Customs and Border Patrol authorities responsible for his deportation should have been aware that he had Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, an Obama era policy that allows undocumented residents who arrived in the United States as minors to receive a two year period of deferred action from deportation.
"[Curiel] handles many cases involving the United States government. It is of interest because of the judge having been previously attacked — unfairly I think — by candidate Trump, but I don't think legally there's much of an issue here," Kevin Johnson, the University of California, Davis, School of Law dean told NBC News.