Page 8 - 2016 Immigration Clinic Newsletter
P. 8

Professor Geoffrey Hoffman and Clinical Supervising   order issued by a federal judge in New York.  We
               Attorneys Rosemary Vega and Josephine Sorgwe from   stood ready to file a habeas in the event family
               the UHLC Immigration Clinic served as volunteer   members were not released or detained.  The stay
               attorneys at IAH Airport.  They assisted families trying  order protects those with a valid visa or green card
               to get their loved ones released from Customs and   from being removed. Unfortunately, the stay order we
               Border Protection (CBP) upon landing at the airport   had at that moment did not guarantee the release or
               from all over the world.  Former students of the clinic  protect against prolonged detention but did prevent
               as well as other graduates of UHLC were in   removal. We received reports that some CBP officers
               attendance. About 20-25 attorneys showed up to help   were not abiding by the stay order, so we were
               the first day. The attorneys specialized in civil rights,   legitimately concerned at the beginning of the day. At
               criminal defense, federal courts, commercial   the beginning of the day it was unclear whether green
               litigators, tax attorneys and in-house counsels, among  -card holders would be protected.
               others.
                                                        During the long day, we spoke with green-card holders
               Of great concern were those most immediately   who had been detained. They were able to get
               affected by President Trump's latest executive order:   through eventually but often had to wait hours and
               those from one of the targeted 7 countries, Syria,   answer questions, including an on-line "waiver"
               Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia.  We   form.  There were reports at other airports that some
               heard stories of many who were turned away by the   green-card holders were being asked to sign a form
               airlines at the country of origin. Many were not   abandoning their lawful permanent residence. The
               allowed even to board the planes due to the   best advice is not to sign any documents without an
               misinformation and confusion created by the   attorney present.
               presidential order.  We answered questions and   Amidst the confusion, we were repaid with kindness
               advised families who were waiting hours that their
               relatives would be released under a nationwide stay   from strangers. The beauty of helping immigrants and
                                                        people in need pro bono was evident.
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