On Tuesday, February 14, AABANY’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, in conjunction with the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York (FALA-New York), held a lunchtime webinar on “Understanding Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration.”

Rio Guerrero, Partner, Guerrero Yee LLP, and past Co-Chair of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, spoke about the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, signed on January 25, 2017. This one covered a variety of topics, including building a wall along the border with Mexico, increasing the level of immigration enforcement and elimination of sanctuary cities. Rio touched on the many unanswered questions about the order, such as where the money would come from to fund many of the items raised in it. Rio concluded his presentation ominously by stating, “The fear is real, the danger is real for undocumented aliens, including AAPIs.”

Mariko Hirose, Senior Staff Attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, addressed the Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, signed on January 27, 2017. This one has been more prominently featured in the news and imposes a travel ban on Muslims and refugees. Mariko spoke about the basic terms of the order and then went through the litigations that have sprung up across the country in its wake, from New York and Boston to Seattle and Los Angeles. She concluded with an update on the 9th Circuit’s ruling in Washington v. Trump which affirmed the lower court’s grant of the TRO that stayed enforcement of the order nationally.

During the question-and-answer period following the presentations, one of the questions posed was what could non-immigration lawyers and non-lawyers do to become active in challenging the effects of these orders. Mariko said that NYCLU is open to ideas for collaboration. She stated that coming out to support the protests does make a difference. Also, NYCLU’s website shows various ways that lawyers and non-lawyers can get more involved.

The hour allocated for the webinar went quickly, and it was full of useful and topical information. We thank Rio and Mariko for sharing their knowledge and insights, and we are also grateful to AABANY’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee and FALA-New York for organizing this event. AABANY and FALA-New York will be collaborating again, this time on February 24, with the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY), the Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY) and the Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi to present a Writ of Habeas Corpus Training at San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street, starting at 6:30 pm. For more details and to register, click here.