GIBSON DUNN PUBLIC COUNSEL: Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Recommends That USDC, WD WA Maintain Habeas Jurisdiction Over Detained Dreamer’s Case



From: Manny Rivera <>
Date: Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 2:30 PM
Subject: BREAKING: Federal Court Finds Jurisdiction to Hear DREAMer Case
To: Manny Rivera <>


March 14, 2017

Media Contact:

Manny Rivera,, (323) 892-2080


Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue Recommends Court Hear Arguments on the Constitutionality of Mr. Ramirez’s Arrest and Detention; Denies Petitioner’s Motion for Immediate Conditional Release

Government’s Attempt to Throw Out Petitioner’s Claims Dismissed by the Court

MEDIA ALERT: Press Teleconference Call with Mr. Ramirez’s Legal Team Scheduled for TODAY at 3:30pm Pacific/6:30pm Eastern

Dial-In: (855) 557-3561

Conference ID: 89214839

SEATTLE, Wash. March 14, 2017 — Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue today issued a recommendation denying the Government’s Motion to Dismiss, specifically acknowledging federal district court jurisdiction in the habeas petition filed by Daniel Ramirez Medina. Because of uncertainty of the impact of DACA, the court did not order the immediate release of Mr. Ramirez, the DACA beneficiary unconstitutionally detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) in Seattle for more than a month, but deferred ruling on the merits of whether he should be released while the merits of the habeas petition is being adjudicated. Mr. Ramirez’s release, called for by immigration advocates, community leaders and Members of Congress from throughout the country, was requested by Mr. Ramirez pending the final determination of the merits challenging his unconstitutional detention. Counsel for the petitioner believes that DACA supports his immediate release.

“We are pleased that the court rejected the government’s effort to evade judicial review,” said Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and a member of Mr. Ramirez’s legal team. “This is an important ruling because one of the core purposes of habeas corpus is to ensure judicial review of executive detentions and hold the executive branch accountable.”

“But at the same time, Daniel has been wrongfully detained for too long,” added Mr. Boutrous. “We plan to immediately file an objection to the magistrate judge’s denial of our motion seeking immediate conditional release. The government itself has already determined that he represents no threat to public safety or national security. Dreamers like Daniel who have followed the rules and kept their part of the DACA promise deserve to have their rights recognized and vindicated by the court. This is especially true where, as here, the government has failed to keep its promise, and has provided no independent evidence to support its baseless claims.”

In his findings, Judge Donohue noted:

“The Ninth Circuit has not yet decided whether a district court has the authority to conditionally release a habeas petitioner pending a decision on the merits of the petition. United States v. McCandless, 841 F.3d 819, 822 (9th Cir. 2016), pet. for cert. filed (Feb. 16, 2016) (citing In re Roe, 257 F.3d 1077, 1080 (9th Cir. 2001) (per curiam)). Authority from other circuits strongly supports the conclusion that this Court may exercise such authority in the appropriate circumstances.”

The Court also recommended that because Mr. Ramirez remains in custody, and because there are nearly 800,000 DACA beneficiaries who are interested in the outcome of these proceedings, that the merits phase of the case be treated on an expedited schedule.

The case could have broader implications on other DACA beneficiaries, as the lawsuit calls on the court to issue a declaratory judgement that Mr. Ramirez and other Dreamers have constitutionally-protected interests in their status conferred under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.

“Our objective all along has been to end this DREAMer’s nightmare so that Daniel Ramirez may return to his family and his three-year-old citizen child,” said Mark Rosenbaum, director of Opportunity Under Law at Public Counsel, and a member of Mr. Ramirez’s legal team. “While the court today has taken one step towards justice, the government’s attempts to delay justice for this young man who has been detained now for over a month and never been charged with any crime sends an unmistakable message that the word of executive branch cannot be trusted, that it can ‘play bait and switch’ with the life of a DACA recipient.”

Mr. Ramirez was brought to this country as a child and knows no home but the United States. He gave the government sensitive personal information, paid a substantial fee, and voluntarily subjected himself to rigorous background checks—twice—as part of the DACA program, most recently in May 2016. He has no criminal history and has not been charged with any unlawful conduct. Despite this, he was arbitrarily arrested without a warrant or probable cause. The U.S. Government has had more than a month to submit any evidence of wrongdoing or criminal activity, yet no evidence has been presented because no evidence exists.

“Daniel has been in detention for more than a month without ever being charged with a crime, and to this day the government has shown us no evidence that he has done anything wrong” said Ethan Dettmer, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and a member of Mr. Ramirez’s legal team. “No one should be treated that way, and it is unconstitutional. We are arguing the merits of this case in federal court.”

At a hearing in Seattle last Wednesday, counsel for Mr. Ramirez presented oral arguments on why federal court is the only appropriate venue to hear and decide the habeas petition challenging the constitutionality of his arrest and extended detention. In his decision, Judge Donohue agreed with the Petitioner’s arguments that federal court has jurisdiction over this case because of the critical constitutional issues at stake.

Mr. Ramirez has now been subjected to unconstitutional detention for 32 days without being charged with a crime and with no evidence presented to justify his continued detention.

Petitioners will file a written objection to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation by no later than March 28, 2017.

A national press teleconference call with members of Mr. Ramirez’s legal team is scheduled for 3:30pm Pacific/6:30pm Eastern. Counsel will be available during this call to discuss today’s decision and answer questions from members of the media. To view the court’s Report and Recommendation, click here.

Press Teleconference with Counsel for Daniel Ramirez Medina—Dial-In Information:

Dial-In: (855) 557-3561

Conference ID: 89214839


Public Counsel is the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. Founded in 1970, Public Counsel strives to achieve three main goals: protect the legal rights of disadvantaged children; represent immigrants who have been the victims of torture, persecution, domestic violence, trafficking, and other crimes; and foster economic justice by providing individuals and institutions in underserved communities with access to quality legal representation. Through a pro bono model that leverages the talents and dedication of thousands of attorney and law student volunteers, along with an in-house staff of more than 75 attorneys and social workers, Public Counsel annually assists more than 30,000 families, children, immigrants, veterans, and nonprofit organizations and addresses systemic poverty and civil rights issues through impact litigation and policy advocacy. For more information, visit

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Thanks to Pilar Marrero of La Opinion for sending this in!