When the President signed his executive order on January 27, 2017, chaos, confusion, and anger followed.
Then came the lawyers.
L4GG Foundation volunteers knew it was important to mobilize quickly. More than 500 of us reported for duty at airports across the country. In conjunction with other organizations (including the ACLU, CAIR, OneJustice, IRAP and the American Immigration Law Association), L4GG Foundation volunteers organized impromptu pro bono law firms at airports to provide legal advice, submit habeas corpus petitions on behalf of detained travelers, and coordinate efforts between translators, airport personnel, and those affected by the ban.
Behind the scenes, other L4GG Foundation volunteers worked around the clock supporting the pro bono lawyers working at the airports. Efforts included locating translators, mobilizing lawyers overseas, starting social media campaigns, researching and compiling information, and reaching out to find technological and other necessary resources. Immigration lawyers mentored and offered resources to non-immigration lawyers through the L4GG community to enable even more lawyers to aid those in need. That need has been immense.
Lawyers from L4GG Foundation sat with a worried mother for more than five hours while her five-year-old son, a U.S. citizen, was detained at Dulles as a result of the ban. Another lawyer joined forces with a group of L4GG Foundation volunteers to get a four-month-old baby from overseas in desperate need of heart surgery into the U.S. for that surgery. They created know-your-rights fliers and had them translated into multiple languages to be handed out to U.S.-bound passengers flying in from abroad. These are but a few of the many yet-untold stories of persons and families affected by the sudden imposition of this travel ban.
L4GG Foundation volunteers camped out at airports, worked behind the scenes from their computers, mobilized legal assistance abroad, and donated their time and energy to help - and we couldn't have done it without the support of so many others who reached out to assist with these efforts. We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of:
- Translators, doctors, paralegals and law students who offered their assistance
- Techies who helped the lawyers get plugged in and organized in ways only techies can
- Congressional representatives and various state level officials who came out to the various airports to provide support
- Protesters who remained active, loud and immovable
- Activists who kept lawyers and other volunteers at the airports fed, supplied and looked after
Below are links to a few news articles highlighting the tremendous effort undertaken by thousands of lawyers who dropped everything to help people in need. We remain grateful to everyone who has contributed, including those who continue to volunteer their time both at airports across the globe and behind the scenes in order to ensure smooth passage for travelers affected by this executive order.
January 29, 2017 - http://www.cntraveler.com/story/the-fallout-of-trumps-executive-order-on-immigration
January 30, 2017 - https://mic.com/articles/167133/hundreds-of-people-are-volunteering-to-translate-for-lawyers-fighting-trumps-muslim-ban
January 30, 2017 - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/us/politics/lawyers-trump-travel-order.html
February 6, 2017 - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-politics/at-airports-across-us-lawyers-aim-to-counter-president-trumps-immigrationban/article33907501/
February 7, 2017 - https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/02/06/for-those-from-far-away-reunions-city-choice/lRwAhun9Pmfp3ny4d8cMMP/story.html
L4GG Foundation volunteers, along with so many other individuals and organizations, are working diligently on the front lines and behind the scenes. We will continue to do so. The outpouring of support, teamwork, and willingness to work around the clock to weather this crisis has been a beacon of hope in a dark time.
HELP US CONTINUE THE FIGHT!
If you can, please donate to the L4GG Foundation (and encourage your friends and family to do the same) by clicking the "Donate" link at the top of our website (www.lawyersforgoodgovernment.org). Thanks so much for your support.