Over the last several days, attorneys on our Immigration team were first responders to refugees, asylum seekers, and green card holders, including those that were detained at JFK International Airport after President Trump's Executive Order suspended the resettlement program for 120 days, and banned refugees from select countries.
Our Immigrant Justice Fellow Nabila Taj (pictured below) and staff attorney Amanda Bransford rushed to JFK International Airport to support those who were detained. They worked with other volunteer attorneys to draft attorney affirmations and told Customs and Border Protection: Stick to questions about immigration status, not religious beliefs.
Over the weekend, staff attorney Prathiba Desai spoke with mothers who are being held in a Texas detention center, and helped them prepare for their asylum interviews.
And stationed back at the office, several Empire Justice Immigration advocates diligently researched how the new order would impact our clients and community. They fielded calls from worried clients who are trying to finalize their legal status or seek asylum, keeping them informed and updated on their rights and how new policies could impact their daily life.
As a civil legal aid provider, it’s our duty to defend the legal rights of any person that has a low income or is facing hardship. The ability to do so is a core component of our democracy.
Day in and day out, our advocates quickly and dynamically react to changes in policies and practices, and we defend the rights of those who are at risk. But we can’t do it alone. We need the independent support of our friends that allows our advocates to quickly respond to emerging and immediate needs--whether it be in the immigration context, or in health, education, LGBT rights, public benefits, workers' rights, and the list goes on.
In order for social change to happen, we need donors to join in and support democratic principles, values, and action.
Donate to the Immigrant Fund, or where the need is greatest.