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Judge Who Told Newly-Minted Citizens to "Go to Another Country" If They Don't Like Trump Will Retire


John Primomo, a federal magistrate in San Antonio, received a barrage of complaints after earlier this month he was caught on video telling newly-minted immigrants in a naturalization ceremony that they should leave the country if they don't like that Donald Trump will be president. On Monday, judges suspended Primomo from conducting any more naturalization ceremonies and on Tuesday, MALDEF filed a complaint asking officials to determine whether he violated the code of conduct for federal judges when he told the new U.S. citizens that Trump "will be your president and if you do not like that, you need to go to another country.”

Late Tuesday, the Express-News reports that Primomo has announced that he will retire next year after he turns 65. The magistrate, which oversees bond and other pretrial hearings here, declined comment to the paper, except to insist he's not a Democrat nor Republican and was “just trying to say something nice and it didn’t turn out that way.”

Before this dustup, Primomo actually had a reputation for relishing his role ushering in new citizens, administering the oath to the vast majority of naturalized citizens here over decade period, according to a previous EN story. In 2014, he told the paper that giving the oath to new citizens gives him "a chill every single time."

In his comments during the ceremony earlier this month, Primomo also used the occasion to scold anti-Trumpers who have rallied in the streets waving "Not My President" signs and football players who have kneeled during the national anthem to protest police shootings. “I detest that, because you can protest things that happen in this country; you have every right to,” he said, according to KENS5 footage of the ceremony. “You don't do that by offending national symbols like the national anthem and the flag of the United States.”

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