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It did not take long for U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer to rule on the immediate fate of jailed DISD teacher Miguel Arango, who was indicted last month on charges he touched a 6-year-old girl's vagina in front of his class in October. Less than 24 hours after Arango and DISD attorneys met in his courtroom to argue whether Arango should be reinstated on the district's payroll, lest he face deportation back to his native Colombia, Buchmeyer denied the motion. Likely till his criminal trial in March (or later), Arango will stay in the Lew Sterrett Justice Center and under the authority of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which wants to deport Arango now that he's in violation of the visa that allows him to stay in the country as a teacher. Arango, as we've reported, says a DISD investigator scared him into resigning, a charge the district denies.
The judge's ruling does not come as a surprise: As DISD attorney Eric Moye said yesterday during the hearing, if Buchmeyer were to have allowed Arango back on the streets and back on the district's payroll (even if he were put on leave), the "hue and cry" from DISD parents would have been deafening. After all, Arango has been indicted by a Dallas County grand jury for having sexually assaulted a minor. Arango insists, of course, that he is innocent.
Buchmeyer writes in his opinion today that he "sympathizes with [Arango]," who yesterday described being threatened repeatedly by inmates in the Dallas County jail, "and his condition of confinement." Nonetheless, Buchmeyer writes, Arango "is in no imminent danger of deportation as a deportation hearing will not take place until after the trial of the criminal charges against him. It is the opinion of the Court that if Plaintiff proceeds to trial in this cause, the court retains the ability to render a meaningful decision on the merits and Plaintiff can be adequately compensated for his alleged injuries."