30 Jan My duty as an attorney

 

By Wallis Nader

Friday, the President signed an executive order that severely restricted immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days and suspended all refugee admissions into the country for 120 days.

Later that day, a federal judge in New York issued an emergency stay temporarily stopping the removal of people who have been granted permission to be in the United States. Several other federal judges around the country have issued similar stays — leading to widespread confusion among immigrants and attorneys.

 

Protest signs at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport


Along with hundreds of other attorneys
, we were on call to resist this clear attack on the civil rights of our immigrant and Muslim community.  

On Sunday morning, I went to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to offer legal assistance to detained individuals. There, I met with immigrants, like a 30-year-old Legal Permanent Resident, originally from Iraq, who feared he would be detained and separated from his family in Austin, Texas.

Luckily, he was able to enter the country but many others are still trapped in limbo.

As attorneys fighting for civil rights in Texas, it is our responsibility to ensure that we make concrete differences in people’s lives and to push back against unconstitutional policies.

We will continue to urge calm and invite Texans into our organized effort to defend constitutional values and the rights we hold dear.

Over the next couple of days, we will continue to provide legal assistance wherever possible. If you would like to help, please connect with the International Refugee Assistance Project here.

 

Wallis Nader is a staff attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project.