Last week during a U.S. citizenship ceremony, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Primomo of San Antonio told immigrants they should leave the country if they can’t accept Donald Trump as their president.
Today, Judge Primomo is paying a heavy price for his comments.
Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia for the Western District of Texas told Law Blog on Tuesday that Judge Primomo will no longer oversee citizenship ceremonies. Judge Garcia said the sanction, unanimously approved by the court’s district judges, wasn’t temporary but a “permanent resolution to this unfortunate” situation.
“I can assure you that whether you voted for him or you did not vote for him, if you are a citizen of the United States, he is your president,” the magistrate judge said Thursday. “He will be your president, and if you do not like that, you need to go to another country.”
Judge Primomo voted for Hillary Clinton. He says the comments made during the ceremony are being taken out of context. Judge Garcia said regardless of his intent, “a judge can’t discourage anyone from exercising a constitutional right” because of an election outcome. The chief judge was specifically referring to the freedom of speech.
“I wasn’t trying to say anything for or against Donald Trump,” Judge Primomo told the San Antonio Express-News, which reported earlier on the sanction. “I was just trying to say something hopeful and unifying and unfortunately it was taken out of context.”
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