Judge: Hawaiian coffee farmer deportation ‘inhumane’


A federal appeals court judge sounded off Tuesday regarding the Trump administration order to deport a Hawaiian coffee farmer who entered the country illegally 28 years ago, writing that the actions are “inhumane” and “contrary to the values of the country and its legal system.”

“President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the ‘bad hombres,’” Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote. “The government’s decision to remove (Andres) Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”

Reinhardt said the court lacked authority to block the March order to deport Ortiz, 43, a longtime coffee grower in Hawaii’s Kona region who has been in the country since the age of 15. He was working to obtain legal status when he was ordered under President Trump’s new border security rules to be deported back to Mexico.

In addition to his successful coffee operation, Ortiz had also worked with the USDA in researching pests afflicting Hawaii’s coffee crop and allowed the government to use his farm without charge for a five-year study.

“Magna Ortiz is by all accounts a pillar of his community and a devoted husband and father. It is difficult to see how the government’s decision to expel him is consistent with the President’s promise of an immigration system with ‘a lot of heart.'”

“I concur as a judge, but as a citizen I do not,” Reinhardt concluded.

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