Hogan Lovells springs to action to offer pro bono advice following executive order in the U.S.

When news broke at the weekend that refugees were being detained at international airport hubs across the United States, a coalition of immigration and refugee assistance organizations put out a call for lawyers from across the legal community to volunteer to help the detainees. Hogan Lovells responded.

More than 20 Hogan Lovells lawyers were on the ground in three different states and many more lawyers and business services people have reached out to offer their services. The firm is working to coordinate a larger effort in conjunction with other organizations.

Katie Ali, Chava Brandriss, Emily Goldman, Mary Van Houten, Arthur Kim, and Claire Sheppard were at Dulles International Airport in Virginia until very late Saturday night attempting to get access to detainees. Although a federal court order required Customs and Border Protection (CPB) to grant the detainees access to legal counsel, the CPB did not comply and refused access.

At approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday, it was announced that every person being detained at Dulles had been released. While interviewing family members waiting for their loved ones, we learned of several people who had already been sent back to their countries of residence earlier in the day.

Mitra Anoushiravani, Rama Chehouri, Samaa Haridi, Garima Malhotra, Dianne Milner, Laura Sayler, Pieter Van Tol, and Sam Zimmerman assisted detainees at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York over the course of the weekend. Our lawyers at JFK conducted intake interviews with families of detainees, met with released detainees, and provided interpretation assistance in Farsi and Arabic. We drafted habeas petitions on behalf of individual refugees, seeking immediate release.

One detainee, Haider Al-Shawi, was reunited with his family in Houston on Sunday morning. Rama and an International Refugee Assistance Project lawyer greeted him after his release at JFK. Rama purchased a flight for Haider and escorted him safely onto his flight, as he speaks no English. Haider is one of the named plaintiffs in the ACLU’s emergency motion for stay of removal (Darweesh v. Trump) of those affected by the executive order.

Ann Koppuzha, Sean Mahsoul, Chris Mammen, Deepak Singh, Sam Welch, and Lauren Zachry were on the ground at San Francisco International Airport in California. They served as legal observers and worked to maintain peaceful protests. 

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