Comments: 9 ..
By Mark Hensch - 04/19/17 05:55 PM EDT
The federal judge who oversaw a lawsuit against Trump University and was accused by President Trump of being biased because of his Mexican heritage will now oversee a controversial immigration case.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has been assigned to a case involving the first “Dreamer” deported under Trump’s tenure, according to a new report.
Curiel will preside over a lawsuit brought by Juan Manuel Montes following his deportation in February, USA Today said Wednesday.
USA Today said Curiel’s assignment was purely by chance, with judges on the Southern District of California selected for cases on a rotating schedule.
Curiel will be asked to decide whether U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) should release information on Montes’ deportation to his team of attorneys.
No court date for Montes’ suit has yet been set, USA Today added.
It will be the second time Curiel and Trump have crossed paths.
Trump attacked Curiel while campaigning for the presidency last year, arguing the judge’s “Mexican” heritage would bias him against Trump in the Trump University case because of the billionaire’s position on immigration.
Curiel approved a lawsuit settlement in March requiring Trump to pay $25 million to former students of his now-defunct Trump University.
The decision settled two class-action lawsuits brought by customers who claimed the Trump-branded venture misled them into enrolling in expensive classes that promised real estate success.
Curiel’s judgment also settled a civil suit from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), who said Trump University's actions carried “the hallmark of a snake-oil salesman.”
Reports Tuesday said federal agents deported Montes to his native Mexico in February despite his active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The program lets some people brought into the U.S. illegally as children obtain work permits and relief from deportation.
Montes reportedly left his wallet in a friend’s car during an encounter with a CBP agent in Calexico, Calif., leaving him incapable of proving his DACA status.
Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Gillian Christensen has since said Montes’ DACA status expired in 2015 and was not renewed, while Montes’ attorney has claimed it is valid until 2018.