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Federal Court Denies Government's Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Unlawful and Unconstitutional Conduct in Dreamer Case

An archive photo of Daniel Ramirez Medina


Media Contact: Manny Rivera, 323-892-2080

Court finds that the Government must face Dreamer Daniel Ramirez Medina’s claims that it violated his constitutional rights, paving the way for the case to proceed trial 

Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez: The Government claims that “it is allowed to withdraw DACA at any time for no reason at all, and that the government has made no promise to DACA recipients with respect to any benefits of that policy/program….  That cannot be.”


SEATTLE, Wash. November 8, 2017 – Today, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued an order denying the federal government’s Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit filed by Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") beneficiary who was unconstitutionally held in detention in a Seattle-area immigration detention center for nearly two months earlier this year. In its order, the Court agreed that Mr. Ramirez stated a claim that the Government’s revocation of Mr. Ramirez’s DACA status and work authorization violated his rights under the Due Process clause of the Constitution. Specifically, the Court held that, by failing to adhere to its own internal operating procedures, the Government must answer Mr. Ramirez’s claims that it deprived him of liberty and property interests protected by the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In denying the government’s Motion to Dismiss, the court paved the way for the case to proceed to discovery and trial.

“Today’s decision is a victory for Daniel and a victory for all Americans who believe the Government should be accountable for the promises it makes,” said Ethan Dettmer, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and a member of Mr. Ramirez’s legal team. “The Government claims that it can break its promises to the Dreamers for any reason or for no reason at all. The Court asked the Government whether that could be fair or just, and this order makes clear that the answer to that question is ‘no.’” We look forward to having Daniel’s case advance to discovery, and proceeding to trial.”

Chief Judge Ricardo S. Martinez writes in the order that the “Defendants wholly fail to address the revocation of Plaintiff’s DACA was arbitrary and capricious…The Court agrees with [Mr. Ramirez] that … [Mr. Ramirez] has alleged a plausible claim that the government violated the APA [Administrative Procedures Act] because its conduct was arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion, and contrary to its own operating procedures.”

The Court additionally stated that in creating the DACA program, the federal government “established a quid pro quo from the federal government to the potential applicants– i.e., you (applicant) make yourself known to us (federal government) and pass rigorous background checks, etc., and in return you will be considered for DACA, which in turn will allow you the opportunity to remain in the country, work, and potentially receive other state benefits.”

Mr. Ramirez was first arrested in February 2017 without a warrant or probable cause, detained without due process and stripped of his DACA status. The Second Amended Complaint, filed on April 25, seeks to have the Government’s decision stripping Mr. Ramirez of his DACA status overturned because the Government’s actions were arbitrary and capricious, and deprived Mr. Ramirez of his liberty and property interests under the Due Process clause of the Constitution.

Counsel for Mr. Ramirez includes, among others, a legal team from Public Counsel and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, DACA recipient Luis Cortes, Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of Berkeley Law.  To review the Second Amended Complaint, click here.


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 www.publiccounsel.org.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a leading international law firm.  Consistently ranking among the world’s top law firms in industry surveys and major publications, Gibson Dunn is distinctively positioned in today’s global marketplace with more than 1,200 lawyers and 20 offices, including Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Dallas, Denver, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo, Singapore, and Washington, D.C.  For more information on Gibson Dunn, please visit our Web site  

Barrera Legal Group focuses on complex immigration issues ranging from family reunification, removal defense and unlawful detention. Barrera legal has represented clients all over the US and in several different countries and maintains committed to represent the immigrant community.