A group of volunteer lawyers who have been assisting families of detained travelers at O’Hare Airport in the wake of President Donald Trump’s travel ban will continue its work following an amended executive order Monday, its members say.
“There’s still gonna be issues with the executive order,” said Yesenia Villasenol, a volunteer attorney. “I think the reality is if we want to promote a country that’s safe and has secure borders, we need to look at the bigger issues and we can’t just do it in a vacuum.”
Trump’s revised order includes six Muslim-majority countries. Iraq has been taken off the list, all refugee admissions are halted for 120 days and international travelers without valid visas as of Jan. 27 are blocked.
“The American people can have high confidence that we are identifying ways to improve the vetting process and thus keep terrorists from entering the country,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said a news conference, citing Trump’s authority to make changes to immigration policy.
No visas will be revoked and the order does not apply to green card holders.
“Being a service member at one time, I think that we do need to control who’s coming in,” said Rich Hoerig, who said he was waiting to pick up his wife at the airport.
Attorney Brian Dodd is among a group of lawyers who have been stationed at the international terminal of the airport for about a month. This morning, they say they are ready to help those with questions.
“Whether they’re U.S. citizens traveling abroad, whether they’re green card holders, whether they’re visa holders, I want them to know—and all the lawyers here want them to know—that they have certain rights,” Dodd said. “That the United States is a welcoming country and that we’re gonna help them lead their lives and make their travel arrangements as best they can.”
The new restrictions go into effect March 16. You can read the full text of the order here.
Published 6 hours ago | Updated 46 minutes ago