The WBA offers its heartfelt kudos to Judge Allison D. Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Gail Dein for their January 29, 2017 twilight-issued Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”). The TRO stayed the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration which blocked travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). Judges Burroughs and Dein held that the petitioners had “met their burden of establishing a strong likelihood of success in establishing that the detention and/or removal of the petitioners and others similarly situated would violate their rights to Due Process and Equal Protection as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.” The WBA applauds this decision. The WBA believes firmly that governmental policies, directives and orders that are rooted in discriminatory animus cannot properly solve any of the social or economic issues we face as a country.
Last weekend’s emergency response to the Executive Order is a stark reminder that as lawyers, we have a unique ability to plug in and make a difference. The WBA lauds the Boston immigration lawyers from AILA NE, representatives of the ACLU Massachusetts and our own Sue Finegan of Mintz Levin who, at 2:00 a.m. last Sunday, sought the TRO.
For our members who want to get involved, please look to this column for opportunities to do just that. This week, we highlight volunteer options focused on immigration:
Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR): PAIR relies on volunteers with diverse skills, including attorneys to represent PAIR asylum-seeking clients and to advise immigrants being detained by immigration. For more information contact them HERE.
Kids In Need of Defense (KIND): KIND works with pro bono attorneys at law firms, corporations and law schools nationwide to represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings. Children in Removal Proceedings: Overview of Immigration Court, Case Process, and Forms of Legal Relief is taking place Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 12 to 2 p.m. at DLA Piper, 33 Arch Street, Boston, MA 02110. Please register HERE.
If taking a case pro bono is more than you have capacity for at this time, KIND and other immigration organizations are always looking for non-English speakers to help translate and interpret (KIND specifically is looking for Spanish speaking volunteer interpreters). If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering in that capacity, please contact Marisa Howe, Supervising Attorney of KIND’s Boston office at email@example.com.
Council on American-Islamic Relations, Massachusetts Chapter (CAIR-MA): CAIR-MA is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. If you are interested in being on their immigration attorney referral list, please contact them HERE.
MetroWest Legal Services: MetroWest Legal Services is a civil legal aid program based in Framingham, MA. They are creating an Immigration Clinic and a Special Immigrant Juvenile Pro Bono project. If you are interested in getting more information, including upcoming trainings, please email Jennifer Ollington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practising Law Institute (PLI): PLI is offering a Free Habeas Training on March 3, via webcast.
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