Trump’s Muslim ban: Lawyers descend on airports across the US to help free detainees

The legal profession fights back, as petition set up by Leeds solicitor gains one million signatures

Image via @faiza_n_ali
Image via @faiza_n_ali

Lawyers from across the United States arrived at airports en masse over the weekend to help those who have been detained under President Donald Trump’s new immigration ban.

Trump’s executive order, which he signed at 4.42pm on Friday, effectively shelves the US’ refugee programme for 120 days. Banning all Syrian refugees indefinitely, the order also suspends the entry of nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for three months.

The move quickly prompted chaotic scenes at several airports across the country, with travellers — many of whom had visas permitting their entry into the US — being detained at customs.

But as the rest of the world watched on, the legal profession came out swinging.

Answering desperate pleas for help from various immigration and legal charities on Twitter, lawyers — cancelling their weekend plans — headed to their nearest airport.

Utilising every spare plug socket they could find, lawyers quickly set up pro bono anti-Trump battle units to help detainees at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Immigration, criminal, civil and corporate specialists — joined by an army of interpreters — operated in shifts.

Elsewhere, chants of “thank you lawyers” echoed around the arrivals terminal of San Francisco International Airport.

And it didn’t take long for their efforts to reap rewards.

Yesterday, US District Judge Ann Donnelly issued a temporary block on Trump’s order, which means immigrants that have already landed in the US with valid visas cannot be deported.

This anti-immigration ban rhetoric is not confined to the US. Closer to home, a number of top lawyers have already expressed their dismay at Trump’s order. Shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti, a barrister at 39 Essex Street, appeared on BBC and ITV breakfast shows this morning, lambasting the “discriminatory” policy.

Additionally, a petition to stop Trump’s state visit to the UK has now surpassed one million signatures. The petition was set up by Graham Guest, who is a solicitor at the Crown Prosecution Service in Leeds.

Despite its popularity and the fact government petitions only require 100,000 signatures to be considered for debate, a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street has told the BBC the government will not be debating it. This is because “America is a huge and important ally. We have to think long term.”

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16 Comments

Dutertekrieg

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(3)(31)
Trumpenputler

Considering your move against drugs, is use of ‘water cannon’ some kind of euphemism?

(6)(0)
Dutertekrieg

I bet you’d like to be “cleared out” with a water bong you degenerate.

(1)(6)
Putlerjugend

How’s mummy’s basement working out for you? All ok?

You might want to put another frozen pizza in the microwave, dear keyboard warrior.

(9)(0)
Anonymous

Thomas, you correctly report that this ban is directed against the nationals of various countries (which you list.)

So why do you also this is a ‘Muslim ban’ when you know it is patently no such thing?

(19)(7)
Anonymous

Erm because he’s a shit stirrer and a terrible journalist. Why else?

(4)(0)
Anonymous

Because it’s targeted directly at Muslims. Trump himself calls the whole thing a Muslim ban. Are you that hard of thinking?

(4)(12)
Anonymous

“Because it’s targeted directly at Muslims.”

No it’s not. It’s directed at the nationals of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

So if you come from those countries, you’re banned irrespective of what religion you are.

If you’re Muslim and don’t come from those countries, guess what – you’re not banned!

(21)(4)
redplanet

“if you come from those countries, you’re banned irrespective of what religion you are”

Actually that’s not true, the order establishes preferential treatment for refugees seeking asylum who are identified with “minority religions” in their country of origin. Trump told Christian Broadcast News that it was intended to give priority to “Christians” seeking asylum over “Muslims.” Look on YouTube for Brody File Exclusive: President Trump Says Persecuted Christians Will Be Given Priority As Refugees (I’d post the url but LC never accepts my links).

(13)(7)
Anonymous

No, you’ve misunderstood.

As things stand right now, everyone is temporarily banned for 90 days.

The priority for “minority religions facing persecution” only applies to the refugees that will be let in after that 90 day period. (By the way, I like how you quietly ignore the persecution criterion.)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38781302

I like how you also ignore the fact that if you’re Muslim and not from those countries, you’re not banned.

So I ask again, why do you and Legal Cheek insist on calling this a ‘Muslim ban’ when it is patently no such thing?

(10)(2)
Anonymous

Are you thick?

Trump said during his campaign that he wanted to ban Muslims. He asked Rudy Giuliani and legal team how he could do this legally. They suggested a ban on Muslim majority countries, rather than a directly discriminatory religious test which would certainly be unconstitutional.

(11)(6)
Anonymous

He’s only fulfilling his promises from the campaign. The liberal media can cry all they want but there are millions of people on the both sides of the pond who agree with him.

Sorry not sorry for triggering any precious snowflakes here.

(10)(14)
Anonymous

You’re the person who seems triggered by people resisting a nonsensical racist policy. Who’s really a precious snowflake?

(16)(6)
Liberturd Leftie

Don’t forget that it is also unconstitutional as it contains a religious test. And, if it is in not a religious test, then why give preference to one religion over another to people from those nations.

Also curiously, why list seven predominantly Muslim Countries, that have no recorded “terrorist” involved in an attack on the US, why not also list Egypt, India, UAE, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan?

Maybe because Herr Trump does business in most of the other other nations and it would be bad for business, his businesses…

(6)(1)
Anonymous

Or, we could all just pretend it is not discriminatory…

(0)(0)

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