Immigration Law

At least five judges block Trump's immigration order; more than 4,000 lawyers volunteer

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Immigration law.

At least five judges over the weekend partially blocked President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration restrictions, as more than 4,000 lawyers volunteered to oppose the president’s executive order. Federal judges in Brooklyn, Boston, Alexandria, Los Angeles and Seattle issued injunctions, although the orders in California and Washington applied only to individual plaintiffs. Publications with stories include the National Law Journal (sub. req., here and here), the New York Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters and the Boston Globe.

The orders were limited and litigation could last for years, according to the New York Times. “The orders were provisional,” the article says, “aimed at maintaining the status quo. They were limited in scope, applying only to people on their way to the United States or already here. They did not rule on the larger question of whether Mr. Trump’s executive order was lawful.”

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, says the initial challenges addressed immediate harm, and he expected broader challenges in the future.

Trump’s order, issued on Friday afternoon, blocks entry into the United States of all refugees for 120 days, of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and of citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries for 90 days, the New York Times reports in this story. The seven countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The Department of Homeland Security said on Saturday that the order applies to legal residents with green cards, while White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday on Meet the Press that the order doesn’t bar green card holders from entering the country, although they would be subjected to additional screening.

Groups seeking to provide legal help, in addition to the ACLU, include the National Immigration Law Center and the International Refugee Assistance Project. In a conference call on Sunday, group officials said rotating shifts of lawyers are stationed at major airports, and another 2,000 lawyers have volunteered, according to the National Law Journal.

Lawyers at the airports are holding signs in different languages offering help.

Lawyers from top law firms are among those filing lawsuits on behalf of immigrants affected by the ban and providing pro bono assistance. They include lawyers from Mayer Brown, Kirkland & Ellis, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

The ACLU received more than $24 million in donations over the weekend, which is six times its usual total for the year, the Washington Post reports.

The first judge to rule, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly of Brooklyn, issued a nationwide injunction barring deportation of those affected.

In Boston, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein went further, blocking federal officials from removing and also detaining immigrants affected by Trump’s order. But the order appeared to apply only to people arriving at Logan International Airport in Boston.

In Alexandria, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued an order that applied to legal permanent residents being held at Dulles International Airport. The orders by U.S. Judge Thomas Zilly of Seattle and U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of Los Angeles applied only to three individual plaintiffs.

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